When a Company refuse to Refund Tenants’ Deposits, I would have thought, it goes beyond a Civil matter, and Borders on Criminal?

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Company ordered to pay more than €60,000 in deposits and damages to tenants says most have received their money

 24th April 2021

A COMPANY ordered to pay more than €60,000 in deposits and damages to tenants during the pandemic says the “vast majority” have now received their money.

Since January alone, 21 tenants who rented properties across Dublin have taken cases with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) against Period Door Properties Limited after failing to get their deposits returned.

Some tenants, who were waiting a year to get their deposits of up to €1,800 back, have since got their money after the RTB found in their favour.

Others claim they are yet to receive any payment and some have ongoing cases.

A spokesperson for Period Door Properties (PDP) claimed the company was delayed in returning deposits as “over 50pc” of its tenant base broke their lease obligations and left their shared accommodation “without any notice whatsoever”.

“There is a significant portion of our tenant base that has deliberately chosen to be opportunistic and has taken full advantage of Government protections,” the spokesperson said.

This has resulted in substantial rent arrears which remain outstanding. In particular, certain individuals’ conduct is, quite frankly, despicable and their selfish actions have contributed to redundancies within the company.”

PDP rents houses and apartments in Ballsbridge, Clontarf, Monkstown, Ranelagh and Donnybrook. The company is currently advertising 25 properties on Daft.ie, with rents ranging from €800 to €1,350 a month.

Michael O’Riordan rented a room in a Georgian mansion on the prestigious Ailesbury Road and was asked to vacate the property at the start of last year. He took a case with the RTB after Period Door Properties failed to return his deposit three months after he moved out.

The RTB ordered the company to pay him €2,227, including his “unjustifiably retained” security deposit of €1,875 and damages for the “unlawful retention” of his money. Mr O’Riordan received payment from his former landlord last month.

The company was also ordered to pay his housemate €3,725. This includes a deposit of €1,725 and damages of €2,000 for a breach of landlord obligations for “unlawfully interfering with the applicant tenant’s right to peaceful and exclusive occupation of the dwelling”.

The company has been involved in dozens of RTB cases in the last four years, including a number of deposit-retention cases.

In 2017, the company was ordered to pay tenant Maria Scarlatella €2,007 for retaining her deposit after she left a property in Milltown.

PDP has also taken cases against tenants, with the RTB recently ruling four tenants must pay more than €12,000 in rent arrears.

PDP claimed the company is owed €40,000 in rent due to the pandemic, describing it as “a drop in the ocean in relation to the amount owed by tenants wilfully withholding their rent without justification”.

“We won’t be commenting on any person’s individual circumstances except to say that the vast majority of the subject deposits have been returned,” PDP said.

“When tenants broke and neglected their lease obligations and left their accommodation en masse, we were not allowed to replace them whilst the country was in a Level 5 lockdown due to health restrictions, based upon the bubble principle which we adhered to at significant cost in the interest of the well-being of our tenants.

“We have worked and continue to work directly with the highest levels of Government in the Department of Housing and the RTB, who are acutely aware of our unique positioning and are sympathetic to the near-impossible situation Covid has brought upon our business.”

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