Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities

Landlords

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.

 

Tenants

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.

 

Landlord and Tenant Rights

Landlords 

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

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.

Moving in checklist for landlords

It is a good idea to take photographs of the property before the commencement of a new tenancy, and if possible to date them.  Similarly, photos should be taken of the property before the tenant moves out. This is important should an issue arise regarding the condition of the property when the tenancy ends.  

It is a good idea to take an inventory of the contents and furniture, note any damage and identify things that don’t work and breakages. Both landlords and tenants should sign an inventory and condition report. 

A sample inventory and condition report can be downloaded here

It is really important to obtain a tenant’s PPS number before a tenancy commences.  A PPS number is a unique identifier, and in the event of a dispute, the RTB will have an improved chance of tracing a tenant(s) address if a PPS number is supplied. Without a PPS number, the RTB may not be able to locate the tenant and may not be in a position to process your dispute.  

  • Landlords should search the RTB website for all dispute outcomes involving tenants before renting out their property
  • Landlords should be familiar with their rights and responsibilities as well as those of their tenant(s). 
  • Landlords should provide the tenant(s) with their contact details or those of the agent.
  • Landlords should get the tenant(s) contact details.
  • Check out Revenue.ie to get further information on taxation implications on rental income and deductions.  

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) and the rent previously set, cannot increase by more than 2% per annum pro rata, where HICP inflation is higher.. This applies to new and existing tenancies (unless an exemption is being applied).

In the case of a new tenancy in an RPZ, a landlord is required to furnish the tenant, in writing, with the following information at the commencement of the tenancy:  

  • The amount of rent that was last set, which is the rent amount the previous tenant was paying in the rental dwelling.  
  • The date the rent was last set, which is the date that the tenancy commenced or the date the landlord previously set and served the notice of rent review.   
  • A statement as to how the rent was set in the rental dwelling having regard to the RTB Rent Pressure Zone calculator which reflects the latest HICP.  

See here for more information on setting rent in Rent Pressure Zones. 

Moving in checklist for tenants

It is a good idea to take photographs of the property before the commencement of a new tenancy, and if possible date them.  Similarly, photos should be taken before moving out of the dwelling. This is important should a dispute arise regarding the condition of the property when the tenancy ends  

It is important to know the name of the landlord.  If dealing with an agent, a tenant is entitled to the full name and contact details of the landlord(s) under the Housing Rent Book Regulations Act 1993.  Even if dealing with an agent or landlord representative throughout a tenancy, in the event of a dispute, the tenant can only refer an application for dispute resolution against the landlord. Check the RTB database of dispute resolution outcomes here.

A tenant who is renting for at least six months and has not been served a written Notice of Termination of tenancy automatically acquires security of tenure. This is referred to as a ‘Part 4 Tenancy’. A landlord can only end a tenancy that is greater than 6 months on limited grounds:

  • Breach of obligation by the tenant;
  • Failure by the tenant to pay rent;
  • The property is no longer suitable for the accommodation needs of the tenant and of any persons residing with him/ her;
  • The landlord intends to sell the property within 9 months of termination;
  • The landlord requires the property for his/ her own occupation or occupation by a family member;
  • The landlord intends to substantially refurbish or renovate the property;
  • The landlord intends to change the use of the property; 
  • The Landlord intends to end the tenancy before a Further Part 4 tenancy is created for any reason

The landlord should provide the tenant with their contact details or the contact details of any agent working on their behalf.

We recommend that tenants and landlords search the RTB database for all dispute outcomes before renting a property.

  • Budget

What is your budget? How much can you afford? As a general rule, housing costs plus bills should be approximately 30% of your total income.

  • Location

What location would you like to live? Is it safe and secure?

  • Property Type

Decide on what type of property would suit your needs, for instance:

- A house or apartment? 

- Furnished or unfurnished?

- Would you like to live on your own or share with other tenants?

- How many bedrooms are required?

- What facilities are required? (e.g. wheelchair access, broadband, etc.)

- Are pets permitted? Do I require a property that allows pets or would you like to live in a property where pets are allowed?

- Do you require a garden or shed?

- Storage facilities

- Is parking or bike storage required?

  • Average Rent 

What is the average rent for the location and property type that you choose? Check this here 

  • Breakdown of Rent

What is included as part of the rent? Are broadband, gas, electricity, TV licence, refuse charges included in the rent?

  • Amenities 

Is the accommodation convenient? What amenities are available, for instance local shops, crèches, schools, parks, playgrounds, sports facilities, pubs?

  • Deposit Amount 

How much deposit is required? Can you afford the deposit? To find out more information on deposits, click here

  • Tenancy agreement / Lease 

Will you be required to sign a fixed term lease? Will you be jointly and severally liable for the rent and bills of other tenants?

  • Public Transport 

Is public transport required? If so what transport is available? What are the associated costs? How long will it take to get to school/ work? What is the frequency of the transport? Be careful that you are not choosing a property that is cheap on rent but high on transport costs.

  • Maintenance of garden

Will you be required to maintain a garden and if so what equipment has been provided?

  • Landlord checks 

Check the RTB website for the landlord. You can find out if the landlord has had previous cases with the RTB? Check the database of RTB dispute resolution outcomes here.

  • Tips for students

Know who you’re living with because if they don’t pay their rent, leave unpaid bills or damage the property you could all be held jointly responsible.

Don’t sign a 12 month lease if you’re only staying for the 9 month academic year...you could end up paying the extra or losing your Deposit.

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