Paying rent and deposits

Updated: 22 Feb 2019
Take dated photographs of each room
Rent is normally paid weekly or monthly and is usually paid in advance. You can agree with your landlord the method of payment but always record payments in your rent book, even if you decide to pay by a Standing Order with your bank or pay by cheque.

Inventory of furniture and furnishings

An inventory should be given the same importance as the tenancy agreement. If your tenancy started after 1st April 2007 an inventory of any furniture and furnishings must be provided by the landlord as part of the statement of tenancy terms. Before you move in, your landlord should have made a list of all furniture and appliances and noted details of the condition of the property, furniture, fixtures and fittings. Agree the inventory with your landlord.
Make sure you get a copy of the agreed inventory, dated and signed by you and your landlord.
You should consider taking dated photographs of each room so that if you move furniture you can put it back to its original location. You will also have photographic evidence of the condition of the furniture and fittings at the start of your tenancy.
A properly drawn-up inventory, agreed between you and your landlord, will help avoid disputes during and at the end of your tenancy, particularly over the return of your deposit.
If you do not get the co-operation of your landlord, it is advisable that you complete your own inventory with an independent witness. Make sure you keep the inventory until you have left the property and your deposit has been returned.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Following recent legislation in the Assembly, the Department for Social Development (DSD) has appointed a number of organisations to operate a tenancy deposit scheme in Northern Ireland,
A tenancy deposit is a sum of money which a landlord may ask a tenant to pay at the start of a tenancy. The landlord requests the money as security against the tenant not meeting their obligations in connection with a tenancy agreement. The tenancy agreement should set out the circumstances in which the deposit may be withheld at the end of the tenancy.
The DSD's new independent third party tenancy deposit scheme came into effect on the 1st of April 2013. It means that a third party will protect the deposit to make sure that a tenant gets it back if they are entitled to it. The scheme should also help resolve disputes about deposits between landlords and tenants through a dispute resolution mechanism.