This month it has been announced that Northern Ireland will be following England, Wales and Scotland with the introduction on April 1st 2013 of a Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
Similar to the schemes that currently run through out the rest of the UK there will be both custodial and insurance based schemes available to landlords and letting agents. Unlike the rest of the UK, in Northern Ireland landlords and letting agents will only have 14 days to lodge the deposit with a scheme, though they will have 28 days from receiving the deposit to provide the prescribed information to the tenant of which scheme their deposit is being held. The tenancy deposit scheme in Northern Ireland is also not going to work retrospectively, so in effect will only apply to deposits that are taken on or after the 1st April 2013, unlike the schemes in England, Wales and Scotland that required all deposits being held regardless of when collected to be lodged.
RentPro can assist with the management of deposits to ensure that you have them lodged with the scheme you are using within a timely manner. Within our Reports > Alerts section we have a report that will list all Deposits being held and how long before the deadline for lodging them. This report for Northern Ireland based customers will reflect the 14 days as required my law, and the 30 days as required for the rest of the UK.
Once you have lodged the deposit you can also record details of this on RentPro, which will assist with returning the deposit upon the end of the tenancy.
Advice for reducing the risk of disputes upon the return of a deposit
To reduce the risk of disputes it is recommended that the landlord or letting agent carry out both a check in and check out, that is agreed with the tenant. These inspections along with periodic inspections as agreed within your tenancy agreements, can be saved onto RentPro, allowing you to store all the information you may need as evidence in the case of a dispute in one place for future reference.