Subletting plan could save deposit

March 2012

Question

I moved into an apartment about nine months ago and still have another three to go on the lease. I need to emigrate for work purposes, but if I leave early (and break the lease) will I lose my deposit? I can't afford to lose it as I need the money, but 1 have to take a job . . . What can I do?

Answer

The rights of a tenant to terminate a lease will differ depending on whether they are in a fixed term or periodic (Part 4) lease. Given that you say you moved into the apartment nine months ago and also say you are leaving three months early, then I will assume you are in a fixed-term lease of one year. In this case you may give notice to the landlord that you wish to terminate the lease, but this notice must be in writing and you must also request that you are allowed to sublet the property to another tenant. You must also give 28 days' notice. If the landlord refuses to allow you to sublet the property, then you will be entitled to terminate the lease and get your deposit back. If you are allowed to sublet the property, then it is your responsibility to find a tenant to replace you at the rent that you are currently paying and under the terms of your existing lease, unless otherwise agreed with your landlord. If you do not give notice in the correct manner then you may be Liable to pay the rent for the remaining period of the lease. Please refer to the Private Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and the Private Residential Tenancies Board for further information. See prtb.ie

Fergal Hopkins is a member of the Residential Property Professional Group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors scsi.ie