The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 provides for, among other things, the establishment of a tenancy deposit protection scheme to be operated by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
The Government is fully committed to the principle of ensuring effective protection of deposits. I have asked my Department, in consultation with the RTB, to undertake a detailed examination of the current legislative provisions, which have not yet been commenced, to identify any improvements and further legislative provisions that may be required to take account of the changed circumstances since the development of the 2015 scheme. My aim is to ensure that any Deposit Protection Scheme to be introduced will operate effectively, efficiently and will respond to the needs of both tenants and landlords.
Definition of what should constitute an appropriate amount of a deposit will be considered in the context of the aforementioned examination of the 2015 deposit protection scheme. The normal practice is that one month's rent is paid to a landlord as a security deposit. A deposit is considered to belong to the tenant but the landlord can establish a right to keep the deposit in the following circumstances: rent arrears; damage to the property above normal wear and tear; outstanding utility bills and other charges; or if the tenant has not given sufficient notice of termination.
I expect that, on foot of the examination of the existing provisions, any necessary legislative changes can be progressed through the Houses of the Oireachtas this year.