Press Releases | Mullan acts to close tenancy deposit loophole

Mullan acts to close tenancy deposit loophole

SDLP Belfast Councillor Kate Mullan has submitted a motion to Belfast City Council to address the issue caused by a loophole in the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Flaws in the legislation has allowed landlords to keep their tenants security deposits.

Speaking in the Council Chamber Cllr Mullan said: “The Tenancy Deposit scheme came into legislation in April 2013 to secure a fair deposit scheme for tenants. Unfortunately there is a flaw in this legislation. It was a constituent who brought this to my attention who having paid a deposit in good faith to her landlord found that at the end of her tenancy, her landlord had failed to protect her deposit as required under the deposit protection scheme.

“While the majority of landlords act honestly and in good faith, Belfast City Council solicitors have determined that the wording of the legislation has resulted in a 6 month expiry on prosecuting offending landlords so when after the standard lease of 12 months is up, tenants are left unable to claim their deposits from landlords.

“My constituent was not made aware that her landlord had not protected her deposit and she was not made aware that it was her responsibility to report the landlord’s failure within 6 months of her deposit being paid. Her failure to report meant she had no recourse to pursue her landlord.

“My motion tonight is for Council to agree to write to the Minister of Social Development to highlight the flaw in the legislation and request a technical amendment of the Private Tenancy Order 2006 to remedy the situation.”

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