Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities
A landlord is the owner of a property who leases or rents it to another person. The person who rents the property is a tenant. The agreement between the landlord and tenant is a tenancy.
A landlord must:
- Register their tenancy within one month of the start of the tenancy. You can register online.
- Provide tenants with a receipt or statement or rent book that acknowledges payments made for rent and any other payments (e.g. utilities) received by the landlord
- Make sure the property is in good condition
- Maintain the property to the standard it was in at the start of the tenancy.
- Reimburse the tenants for any repairs they carried out on the structure that they requested with the landlord which the landlord did not carry out within a reasonable time
- Insure the property (A landlord is required to maintain insurance in respect of the structural dwelling only i.e. bricks and mortar. A tenant should arrange contents insurance to cover their personal belongings).
- Pay property taxes and any other charges that the tenant is not responsible for
- Provide the tenant with contact details (or for the agent working on the landlords behalf)
- Give the tenant a written Notice of Termination at the end of the tenancy (sample notices can be found here)
- Return the tenants deposit promptly at the end of the tenancy, unless lawfully withheld. A landlord can deduct any rent arrears, outstanding bills, or the cost of damages in excess of normal wear and tear to the accommodation. If a tenant terminates a tenancy early, a landlord can deduct for losses incurred.
- Schedule a property inspection. Landlords are encouraged to carry out regular inspections of their properties
- Make sure there are refuse bins available for the tenant
- As per the Equal Status Act 2000, a landlord cannot refuse to rent a property to someone because of their gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, receipt of State housing payments (such as HAP), or membership of the Travelling Community.
While renting a property, a tenant is responsible for:
- Paying their rent in full and on time
- Keeping the property in good order and telling the landlord when repairs are needed. Tenants must give the landlord and those carrying out repairs access to fix the maintenance issues
- Ensuring they do not harm the property e.g. drying clothes inside without proper ventilation as this may cause damp to spread
- Allowing a landlord to carry out inspections of the property at reasonable intervals on an agreed date and at an agreed time with the tenant
- Letting the landlord know who is living in the property. A landlord is entitled to know who is living in the property
- Not engaging in anti-social behaviour
- Complying with the terms of the tenancy agreement, whether written or verbal
- Giving proper notice when they plan to end the tenancy
- Keeping a record of repairs, payments and dealings with the landlord
- Ensuring they don’t do anything that could affect the insurance premium on the property e.g. engaging in hazardous acts
Pets in Private Rental Accommodation
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. 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 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.
The rights of a landlord are set out in the Residential Tenancies Act (2004, as amended). Under this Act, a landlord has the right to:
- Set the rent of the property and receive the rent in full from the tenant on the date it is due. Landlords should ensure they understand the laws that apply to them when setting the rent based on where the rented dwelling is located. A Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) is a designated area where rents cannot be increased by more than general inflation, as recorded by the Harmonised Index of the Consumer Price (HICP) which is capped at 2% per year pro rata when the HICP rate is higher. This applies to new and existing tenancies (unless an exemption is being applied). Landlords are strongly advised to use the RPZ rent calculator located here. Landlords must also show their rent calculations and how they arrived at the figure.
- End the tenancy in the first six months without reason if there is no fixed term lease in place. After six months, a landlord can terminate a tenancy for certain reasons.
- Be told who is living in the property, and decide whether to allow the tenant to sub-let or assign the property (this does not apply to Approved Housing Body landlords)
- Be informed about any repairs needed and be given reasonable access to fix them
- Refer any disputes to the RTB
Tenants rights are set out in the Residential Tenancies Act (2004, as amended). Under this Act, a tenant has the right to:
- A property that is in good condition – this means that it must be structurally sound, have hot and cold water, and adequate heating. The electricity and gas supply must be in good repair and all appliances must be working
- Privacy – the landlord can only enter the property with the tenants permission, unless every attempt has been made to contact the tenant
- A receipt or statement or rent book that acknowledges payments made for rent and any other payments (e.g. utilities) made to the landlord
- Be told about any increase in rent
- Be able to contact the landlord or their authorised agent at any reasonable time
- Be paid back monies from the landlord for any required repairs the tenant carried out on the property that they asked the landlord to fix but which they did not carry out within a reasonable timeframe
- A valid Notice of Termination before the end of a tenancy
- Refer a dispute to the RTB
For a full overview of both landlord and tenant rental rights and responsibilities, please read the Good Landord Tenant Guide in the hyperlink.