Landlords and letting agents in Belfast, Coleraine and Derry-Londonderry are invited to attend free workshops to discuss and prepare for the introduction of tenancy deposit schemes (TDS) in Northern Ireland, which come into force on 1st April 2013.
In order to comply with the new legislation landlords and agents will have to protect their tenant’s deposits using a government-authorised scheme, such as my|deposits Northern Ireland.
Landlords and agents have two options; they must decide whether they wish to hold onto their tenant’s deposit money themselves - by using the insurance-based option - or hand it over to the scheme to retain for the duration of the tenancy - by using the custodial option.
my|deposits runs similar schemes already in England & Wales and Scotland and will provide both options in Northern Ireland. Landlords and agents are free to decide which option best suits their requirements.
With both options landlords, agents and their tenants will have access to a free and impartial dispute resolution mechanism (DRM) to resolve a dispute over the amount of deposit to be returned at the end of the tenancy, without involving the courts.
The free workshops will also provide advice and helpful tips on avoiding disputes at the end of a tenancy.
Sean Hooker, Business Development Manager, my|deposits Northern Ireland, and a qualified Adjudicator will be hosting the workshops in order to support landlords and agents to gear up for the changes.
"The workshops are a great opportunity for landlords and agents to prepare for the changes and especially to familiarise themselves with the disputes process.
"my|deposits have been running a successful insurance-based tenancy deposit scheme in England and Wales for the past six years, protecting £1.6billion worth of deposits on behalf of nearly 100 thousand members.
“Since July 2012 we have also successfully safeguarded tenant’s deposits in Scotland with our custodial scheme.
“Landlord and agents should be aware that if the tenant disagrees with the amount of deposit to be deducted at the end of a tenancy it could end up as a formal dispute.
"The clear lesson we have learnt is that disputes are won and lost at the beginning, not the end of the tenancy, so landlords and agents must make sure they are fully prepared for the changes – I can't stress that enough.”
The free workshops will take place on:
- Friday 22nd February (10am-12pm) - The Lodge Hotel, Coleraine, BT52
- Tuesday 26th February (2pm-4pm) – Da Vincis Hotel, Culmore Road, Derry-Londonderry, BT48
- Wednesday 27th February (10am-12pm)– Hilton Belfast, Lanyon Place, BT1
For full details or to book a place call 0845 3623086 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, landlords and letting agents who take a deposit from their tenant can access further information about the new legislation and their responsibilities by visiting the my|deposits website www.mydeposits.co.uk or by following us on twitter @mydeposits_ni
For further information, please contact:
Senior Press Officer
T: 020 7840 8925
M: 07508 031 084
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About my|deposits Northern Ireland:
- my|deposits Northern Ireland is the trading name of Tenancy Deposit (NI) Limited.
- Tenancy Deposit (NI) Limited is a subsidiary of Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited, a company jointly owned by the National Landlords Association and HFIS plc T/A Hamilton Fraser Insurance (the Scheme Administrator) to deliver both a custodial and insurance-based tenancy deposit scheme (TDS) in Northern Ireland, under contract from the Department for Social Development (DSD).
- Landlords and letting agents wishing to use the scheme are required to register with the Scheme Administrator. They can find out more and visiting www.mydeposits.co.uk
- Registered members of the Scheme are able to protect and unprotect deposits at the beginning and end of tenancies.
- The custodial service is free for landlords and tenants. In the event of a dispute at the end of the tenancy agreement, both parties are offered access to Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM). This procedure will be evidence-based, relying on documentation and records.