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Landlords Struggle to Retain Deposits

The Private Tenancies Board’s annual report, published this month, revealed that 37 per cent of applications dealt with deposit retention and it remained the most common reason for parties seeking dispute resolution.

Software for Estate Agents“A landlord is only entitled to retain a deposit where there is damage in excess of normal wear and tear, or where there are rent arrears or utility bills outstanding,’’ said the report.

In all, the board received 2,272 dispute applications, with 836 of those dealing with deposit retention and 719 rent arrears. “Rent arrears are the most common reason for a landlord to refer a dispute,’’ said the report. “Tenants are required by law to pay their rent when it falls due, regardless of whether or not they are in an on-going dispute with their landlord.’’

The report noted the growing private rental sector, which now represents 29 per cent of Software for Estate Agentshouseholds, compared to 22 per cent in 2002. Board chief executive Anne Marie Caulfield said the trend was likely to continue, with less direct provision of local authority housing, difficulty obtaining mortgages, and a lower level of public confidence regarding employment and house prices.

“In other words, the private rental sector has never been more important in terms of Ireland’s housing needs,’’ she added.

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