Posted on 27 September 2013 by Accountant

Landlord and tenant law

The main legislation governing these rights and obligations is the Landlord and Tenant Acts 1967 to 1994 and the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (pdf). Leases or other tenancy agreements cannot take away from your rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, but Tenant and Landlord can agree on matters that are not dealt with in the Act.

Tenancy AgreementTenancy Agreement Package Template ScreenshotPrice: €3

BUY TEMPLATE

Landlord’s rights

Landlord has the right to:

  • Set the rent (although the rent cannot be more than the current market rate),
  • Receive the correct rent on the due date,
  • Review the rent annually,
  • Terminate a tenancy without giving a reason during the first six months,
  • Be informed who is ordinarily living in the property (this does not include overnight visitors or short stays),
  • Decide whether to allow the tenant to sub-let or assign a tenancy,
  • Be informed of any repairs needed,
  • Be given reasonable access to the property to carry out repairs.

Landlord does not have the right to:

  • Enter his/her tenant’s home without permission,
  • Take or retain his/her tenant’s property – even if tenant hasn’t paid the rent,
  • Charge more than the market rate for the property.

Landlord’s obligations

Landlord has the obligation to:

  • Provide his/her tenant with a rent book or statement of rent paid,
  • Make sure that the property meets certain minimum standards,
  • Repair and maintain the interior of the property to the standard it was in at the start of the tenancy,
  • Repair and maintain the structure of the property,
  • Reimburse tenants for any repairs they carry out, which are landlord’s responsibility,
  • Insure the property (if it is impossible to get insurance, or if the cost is unreasonable this obligation doesn’t apply),
  • Provide the tenant with information about any agents authorised to deal on landlord’s behalf (e.g. management companies, agencies, personal representatives),
  • Ensure the tenant knows how to contact landlord (or his agent/representative),
  • Give tenants 28 days notice of a rent review,
  • Provide tenants with a valid notice of termination (in writing) if terminating the tenancy,
  • Return deposits to the tenant (unless the tenant has not paid the rent or has damaged the dwelling).

Landlord must also make sure that the tenants meet their obligations. Anyone that is affected by landlord’s tenants’ failure to meet their obligations can make a complaint against landlord to the PRTB.

Deposits

Landlord may withhold a deposit (or part of a deposit) only if:

  • The tenant has not given him/her proper notice when leaving,
  • Landlord has been left with outstanding bills (i.e. public utilities) or rent,
  • The tenant has caused damage beyond normal wear and tear.

Tenant’s rights

Tenant has the right to:

  • Quiet and exclusive enjoyment of his/her home,
  • Certain minimum standards of accommodation,
  • A rent book,
  • Contact the landlord or their agent/representative at any reasonable times. Tenant is also entitled to have appropriate contact information (telephone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, etc.),
  • Landlord is only allowed to enter tenant’s home with his/her permission. If the landlord needs to carry out repairs or inspect the premises, it should be by prior arrangement, except in an emergency,
  • Reimbursement for any repairs that he/she carry out, that are the landlord’s responsibility,
  • Have friends to stay overnight or for short periods. Tenant must tell his/her landlord if he/she has an extra person moving in,
  • A certain amount of notice of the termination of the tenancy,
  • Refer any disputes to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) without being penalised for doing so,
  • A copy of any register entry held by the PRTB dealing with his/her tenancy,
  • All homes for rent must have a Building Energy Rating (BER), stating how energy-efficient the home is. This will help tenant to make an informed choice when comparing properties to rent.

Tenant’s obligations

Tenant has the obligation to:

  • Pay his/her rent on time,
  • Keep the property in good order,
  • Inform the landlord if repairs are needed and give the landlord access to the property to carry out repairs,
  • Give the landlord access (by appointment) for routine inspections,
  • Inform the landlord of who is living in the property,
  • Avoid causing damage or nuisance,
  • Make sure that he/she does not cause the landlord to be in breach of the law,
  • Comply with any special terms in his/her tenancy agreement, verbal or written,
  • Give the landlord the information required to register with the PRTB and sign the registration form when asked to do so.

Tenant should note that it may be more difficult to assert his/her rights if he/she has broken conditions of his/her tenancy agreement.

Tax issues

If landlord lives outside the State, tenant must deduct tax for the rent and account for it to the Revenue Commissioners. If tenant pay income tax and was already renting on 7 December 2010, he/she may be eligible for some tax relief on the rent.