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April 2015

Question

I lived in a house for the last nine months and gave my landlord onemonth’s notice by email. My landlord will not return my deposit because I did not send him notice by letter. The contract states “in writing” but it doesn’t specify by post. Is he right to keep my deposit? I’ve tried contacting him by phone but he never answers my calls.

 

Answer

I feel that if this went to the PRTB, adjudication/mediation notice served via email would be deemed an acceptable form of notice and would be found to be valid, indeed arguably email is probably more reliable then post.

Also please note the 2004 tenancies act supersedes any agreement you may have signed with the owner.

However I would point out that notice can only be served if you are in Part 4 tenancy as per the 2004 tenancies act.

In other words that you are not in a fixed term tenancy, if you are, then you are liable for rent for the full period of the fixed term which is normally 12 months.

I am encountering a lot of confusion on this point.

Finally if you are confident that you have served the correct notice then bring this matter to the PRTBs attention.

You can download all the relevant information from their website. There are severe penalties for landlords who incorrectly withhold deposits.

Kersten Mehl is a a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland