A large number of tenants own pets. Landlords and tenants should discuss how pets can be best accommodated in a rental property before the tenancy commences and include any relevant terms in the tenancy agreement. These terms cannot reduce the obligations that landlords owe to tenants or impose any additional obligations on tenants that are inconsistent with the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (as amended).
If a tenant’s pet causes damage to a rented property which is in excess of normal wear and tear, the tenant is responsible for this. The tenant must take reasonable steps to repair the damage or compensate the landlord for taking these steps. At the end of the tenancy, the landlord may be entitled to retain part or all of the deposit to cover damage caused by a pet which is beyond normal wear and tear.
More information on wear and tear can be found here.
Landlords must not use charges for pets to circumvent Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) legislation. The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) has powers to investigate and sanction this type of conduct.
More information on RPZ legislation can be found here.
If during the course of the tenancy, there is a disagreement in relation to pets, landlords and tenants should first discuss the issue and attempt to resolve it. If this is not successful the issue may be referred to the RTB’s Dispute Resolution service.
More information on the RTB’s Dispute Resolution service can be found here.