Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme
Currently, section 12 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, states that a landlord shall return or repay promptly any deposit paid by the tenant to the landlord on entering into the agreement for the tenancy or lease, subject to compliance by the tenant with provisions regarding:
- rent arrears
- unpaid bills
- damage above normal wear and tear
Where a landlord withholds a deposit unjustly, the tenant may bring a dispute to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) for resolution.
The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 was enacted on 4 December 2015 and provides for, among other things, the establishment of a tenancy deposit protection scheme.
Under the scheme, landlords will lodge tenancy deposits with the RTB at the same time as they are registering the tenancy. The RTB will hold these deposits for the duration of the tenancy and will retain the interest generated on the deposit funds towards funding the costs of operating the scheme. At the end of the tenancy, where there is agreement, the deposit will be repaid to the tenant. Where there is disagreement, the parties may apply to the RTB for dispute resolution.
The deposit protection scheme provisions of the Act will be commenced as soon as the necessary conditions are in place to support roll-out. It is expected that the scheme will be operational in 2017. Until the scheme is operational and ready to go live, there will be no change in the administration of tenancy deposits under the Act.