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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Damage

If the tenant has caused damage to the property, you are entitled to financial compensation for any repairs you carry out. This compensation can only be awarded by the courts so it's essential that you keep records of any evidence which will support your claim that the damage is the fault of the tenants.

A tenancy deposit is the tenant's money and should be returned at the end of the tenancy. The deadline for returning this depends on whether the deposit was protected or not. You can make deductions from this deposit where you have suffered a loss as a result of the tenants' action or inaction. However, a deposit cannot be used to reimburse you against normal wear and tear and any deductions made from the deposit must be justifiable in court.

Most landlords will ask you for a deposit. They have to protect this in a deposit scheme. The deposit is your money and you should get it back when you move out. 

The landlord can use this deposit at the end of the tenancy to cover certain costs. You can challenge this. 

You'll need to negotiate with your landlord to try to get your money back. Any negotiating should be done in writing and you need to keep copies of any emails or letters you send. If you're not able to agree with your landlord, you can go to Small Claims Court to see if a judge thinks you should get your money back.

Your landlord needs to have proper reasons to make a claim on your deposit money. All landlords have a legal responsibility to provide tenants with an inventory at the start of their tenancy. A good landlord should take a detailed inventory when you move into the property and use the same inventory when you move out of the property to check if the condition or cleanliness of the property has got a lot worse.

Some rental properties are offered with "zero deposit". Instead of paying a full deposit, you pay a fee. The fee is normally about one week's rent. You won't get this fee back at the end of your tenancy and you will still be responsible for paying the landlord for any rent arrears you owe or damages you have caused. 

Some rental properties are offered with "zero deposit". Instead of paying a full deposit, you pay a fee. The fee is normally about one week's rent. You won't get this fee back at the end of your tenancy and you will still be responsible for paying the landlord for any rent arrears you owe or damages you have caused. 

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