I live in the UK and have bought an investment property in Ireland. In the UK there are strict procedures around the handling of tenant’s deposits including a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. What procedures should I follow in Ireland?
As you will be aware, since 2007, landlords in the UK must place a deposit relating to a short hold tenancy with one of the government-approved Tenancy Deposit Schemes (TDS), whereby a third party holds the deposit and an insurance-based scheme whereby protection is provided on the deposit held by the landlord for the duration of the lease for a fee.
The situation is different in Ireland. On securing a tenancy, the tenant pays the deposit in addition to the first month’s rent to the landlord or the landlord’s agent. The deposit should be paid back to the tenant at the end of the tenancy provided the terms of the lease have been adhered to.
The Private Residential Tenancies Board, prtb.ie, is the statutory body responsible for the operation of a national registration system for all private residential tenancies and for providing a dispute resolution service. The issue of deposits is one of the most frequently heard disputes by the PRTB and has caused considerable debate particularly among tenants.
However, there is currently no third party for deposits in Ireland similar to the one in the UK. Independent research into the feasibility of a deposit protection scheme was carried out last year on behalf of the Department of Environment and the PRTB. One of the conclusions reached was that while such a scheme would provide greater protection for the tenant, there would be legislative changes required amounting to additional expense to the exchequer, particularly given the relatively low level of deposit related disputes in the context of the overall number of tenancies registered in Ireland.
I would recommend you consult with a qualified property professional who can advise you on your responsibilities as a landlord in Ireland.
Gerard O’Toole is a chartered surveyor and estate agent; scsi.ie