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Help needed! tenant rights in Northern Ireland?

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I am having major difficulty with my ex landlord who refuses to give me back my deposit.

here's the story:

I moved into the property on the 1st of June 2008, the previous tenants were friends of mine so I didn't mind moving straight in the day they moved out as I knew what sort of state the house was in. I signed a one year contract but the landlord took it with him when he left and never gave us a copy.

He took £450 and never told us what he was going to do with the deposit or if he was part of any scheme. we thought our deposits would be returned straight to us as everyone was aware of the damages etc in the house (small things like stains on the carpet and furniture past its best), the problem is we don't have this in writing. I put down a mat/rug that covered 3/4 of the carpet which stayed down until we left.

Our lease ended on the 1st of July 2009 and on the 2nd I recieved a TEXT MESSAGE from the landlord saying "I am witholding the deposit, phone if you have any questions."

I immediately phoned him because I knew there hads been no damage caused by us and had left the place exactly as I found it. He was extremely rude, saying "that's just how it is" and ignoring my counter arguments. He ended the conversation saying "I have to go" and hanging up.

I sent him a message the next day asking him to phone me to discuss the deposit but he replied simply saying "I told you I am witholding the deposit as the house was not returned to me in the state you recieved it."

I know that he did not have time to inspect the house before we moved in and I'm nearly sure we never signed an inventory, we certainly never got a copy of one.



My question is, if it goes to court does the law about deposit protection apply in Northern Ireland? I think he may have put it into his own bank account and maybe even spent it. He is now refusing to give his home adress and says to contact him in writing to the rented house where he will pick it up in a few weeks... I think that's too long and he should get it right away but he claims he is "unavailable".


I can't seem to find out what the law is in Northern Ireland and he seems to think he can keep my deposit for things like scratches on top of the wooden table? can he? I think I could get the girls who lived there previously to back me up in saying that the carpets were worn and the boiler switch was broken (can he even claim for that??)


Sorry for so many questions but any help or advice would be very much appreciated, especially on the law in Northern Ireland about deposit protection.

Many thanx!!

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this might help


I'm not really sure on the law in NI but I just found this quickly when I googled tenancy rights northern ireland



The Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006 became effective in April 2007 and has reinforced the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. Legislation governing the rights and responsibilities of private tenants is very complex, however, all tenants have five basic rights:

  • A Rent Book (free of charge)- this should include the name and address of the landlord, the rent (and rates if applicable) payable and when it is due, and details of any other payments you should make. The landlord must provide this within 28 days of the tenancy commencement date.

    [*]Claim Housing Benefit - all landlords must inform tenants of this right in the Rent Book

    [*]Freedom from Harassment and Illegal Eviction - this could include things such as changing the locks, cutting off your water or electricity supply, interfering with your possessions or threatening verbal or physical behaviour. The law offers protection to tenants in these circumstances, always seek advice immediately. The Environmental Health Department of your local council has powers to investigate such actions

    [*]Notice to quit - all tenants have the right to a minimum of 28 days written notice to quit before any court action to evict can commence.

    [*]Due Process of Law - if a landlord terminates a tenancy, but the tenant refuses to move out, the landlord can only recover possession through court proceedings.

If your tenancy started on or after 01 April 2007 you will have additional rights:

  • Your landlord must provide you with a Statement of Tenancy Terms within 28 days of the tenancy commencement date.

    [*]Where there is no tenancy agreement or where any agreement does not identify which party is responsible for repairs you have the right to have certain repairs carried out. The law sets out which repairs the landlord and tenant are responsible for.

    [*]If you do not have a tenancy agreement or the tenancy agreement does not state when the tenancy will end, under the law you have a right to a tenancy that will run for six months initially and after this period it will become a periodic tenancy.

You may contact your local Housing Executive District Office, or Housing Advice NI for more advice."

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and also this link which is specifically about getting your deposit back in NI


Getting your deposit back-Housing Advice NI

If you find my post helpful please click on the scales at the top. Thank you



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