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Residential Tenancies Board should hold deposits - Morgan

16 August, 2005


Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Arthur Morgan T.D. has said that the revelation that the withholding of deposits on rents and apartments was the single biggest cause of complaints brought by consumers in the Small Claims Court last year reinforced Sinn Féin's demand that deposits be held by the Residential Tenancies Board. Deputy Morgan called on the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Dick Roche "to amend the Residential Tenancies Bill so that the deposit would be held by the Residential Tenancies board and to ensure full compliance by landlords with the requirement to register."

Deputy Morgan said, "The retention of deposits by landlords has long been a major problem faced by tenants in the private rented sector. The data from the Small Claims Court for last year reinforces this point. Where the landlord is registered this will now become an issue for the newly established Residential Tenancies Board but tenants whose landlords fail to register will be left vulnerable. The rate of registration among landlords to date has been disappointing. During the passage last year of the Residential Tenancies Bill Sinn Féin and organisations such as Threshold called for the deposits to be held by the Residential Tenancies Board. This should have been done, as it would have given far greater security to tenants. The legislation needs to be amended. As it stands the legislation does not even set down a specific timeframe within which the landlord must refund the deposit.

"Failures and delays in returning deposits can cause severe problems particularly when the tenant is relying on that money to be used as a deposit on new accommodation to which he or she is moving.

"I am calling on the Minister Dick Roche to amend the Residential Tenancies Bill so that the deposit would be held by the Residential Tenancies board and to ensure full compliance by landlords with the requirement to register." ENDS

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