At some stage throughout our lifetime we have all paid or will be required to pay a deposit in respect of services or goods. By handing over a deposit we are entering into an agreement with the provider on various matters e.g. the goods or services being purchased, the amount of the deposit, the total price being paid etc.
Change of Heart
Where there is a change of heart, it does not necessarily mean that one is entitled to get their deposit back. In fact, the seller is not always obliged to return the deposit.
That is not to say that you are not entitled to your deposit back where, for instance, the seller has not adhered to the terms of the agreement e.g. if the agreed delivery date is not met, you would be legally entitled to your deposit back.
Small Claims Court
If you have to commence a legal action for the return of your deposit and the amount is less than €2,000, it is possible to go through the Small Claims procedure to have that matter dealt with. The cost of lodging a case with the small claims Registrar is €25 and the expectation is that the case can be dealt with quickly and inexpensively and without the necessity of a Solicitor.
This is generally the time of year when students are seeking to rent accommodation in the various university cities and are required to pay a security deposit which, is usually, one month’s rent.
The landlord is entitled to retain the security deposit if for example:
¨ there is any rent in arrears at the end of the tenancy;
¨ there are outstanding utility bills;
¨ there is damage done to the property outside of the normal wear and tear.
Students should only hand over a security deposit if:
¨ they are very clear as to the terms and conditions of the lease;
¨ They are clear as to the state of the property—take photographs in case there is a dispute at a later date;
¨ they obtain a written receipt for the deposit.
If there is a dispute the next port of call is the Private Tenancies Residential Board (PTRB) with complaints costing €15 online and paper applications costing €25. Evidence should be sought from the landlord at the outset of any tenancy agreement that he/she is registered with the PRTB