The rental deposit is a sum of money paid by the Tenant to the Landlord/Agent at the beginning of the tenancy. Best practice is that the security deposit amount should be detailed in the lease and payment should made by electronic transfer.
There is currently no legal guideline that stipulates how much of a security deposit the Landlord can request. Generally the equivalent of one months rent is deemed appropriate. In some circumstances the Landlord may insist on two months rent to cover accidental or malicious damage of expensive items. For example if a Tenant accidentally damages a solid marble kitchen worktop, the cost to replace this item may exceed the security deposit of one months rent.
During the tenancy the deposit is normally held by the Landlord but sometimes it is held by the Agent. At the end of the tenancy the deposit should be returned to the Tenant without delay less any amounts properly withheld in accordance with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The Landlord is entitled to withhold the deposit if there was any rent arrears, damage or excessive wear and tear.
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