How will the Tenancy Deposit Scheme affect you?

The Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDS) is due to be introduced in Northern Ireland in the next few years. Currently the scheme is being implemented in Scotland and it will be an early indicator for things to come for Landlords and Tenants in Northern Ireland.

How will the TDS work?

The scheme begins with deposits taken as normal for the tenants. The landlord must lodge the deposit within 30 working days to an independent 3rd Party authorised by the Northern Ireland Assembly, notifying the tenant when and where this was done. At the end of the tenancy the landlord must specify the amount to be returned to the tenant and if this is disputed then both parties will enter into a dispute resolution process whereby both parties must provide evidence to support their claims. There will be an independent judgement cast and if an appeal is required it must be done so within 10 working days time.  The case will be re-assessed and the decision given will be final.

How will the TDS affect me as a landlord?

As a landlord it means that before renting a property you must ensure that the property is handed over to tenants in a good condition and stringent records and documentation must be taken on the date tenancy is taken up. While it may seem to be an inconvenience but it may save you if you have the misfortune of your property being damaged during the tenancy period. For the dispute resolution process it is the landlords responsibility to ensure that the evidence to support the claim is beyond all reasonable doubt. Therefore it will mean Landlords will need to be more efficient in documenting the condition the property is in on the date tenancy begins.

How will the TDS affect me as a tenant?

The TDS is being introduced to ensure that the tenants rights come first and foremost. It will secure your deposit and ensure that any charges/deductions are taken at reasonable prices and you will be eligible to see exactly where any deposit deductions are going. It will also mean that the tenants will be responsible to ensure that the property is maintained to the same standard on the day of move in.