Landlords vs Tenants – Rights and Obligations

Updated on 23 September 2020

Landlord and tenant law

The new legislation governing these rights and obligations was introduced on 1st August 2020, the Residential Tenancies and Valuations Act 2020. Leases or other tenancy agreements cannot take away from your rights under the Residential Tenancies Act, but Tenant and Landlord can agree on matters that are not dealt with in the Act.

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Landlord’s rights

Landlord has the right to:

  • Set the rent,
  • Receive the correct rent on the due date,
  • Review the rent,
  • 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’s obligations

Landlord has the obligation to:

  • Register the tenancy within one month at, (Residential Tenancies Board – RTB) or submit an application by post,
  • Inform the RTB that you are relying on an Rent Pressure Zone exemption,
  • Provide his/her tenant with a rent book and receipts of payment,
  • Landlords must pay tax on any rental income received,
  • 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,
  • 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),
  • Pay property taxes and any other charges that the tenant is not responsible for,
  • 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 notice of any inspection of the property,
  • Make sure there is access to refuse bins at the property,
  • Provide tenants with a valid notice of termination (in writing) if terminating the tenancy,
  • Submit a copy of the Notice of Termination you served to the RTB (within 28 days), where a tenancy has lasted more than 6 months,
  • Return deposit to the tenant (unless the tenant has not paid the rent or has damaged the dwelling).


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:

  • A property that is in good condition,
  • Privacy – tenants are entitled to peaceful and exclusive occupation
    of the rented dwelling,
  • A rent book or record of rent payments made, written contract or lease with the landlord,
  • Be informed about any increase in rent,
  • Be able to contact the landlord or their authorised agent at any reasonable time,
  • Certain minimum standards of accommodation,
  • Reimbursement for any repairs that he/she carry out, that are the landlord’s responsibility,
  • A valid notice of termination before the end of a tenancy.
  • Refer any disputes to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) without being penalised for doing so,
  • A copy of any register entry held by the RTB 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 in full and 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,
  • Keep a record of all repairs, payments (including receipts) and dealings with the landlord,
  • Make sure that he/she does not damage the property,
  • Give the landlord access (by appointment) for routine inspections,
  • Inform the landlord of who is living in the property,
  • Behave responsibly and not engage in anti-social behaviour,
  • Comply with the terms of the tenancy agreement, whether written or verbal,
  • Make sure he/she does not perform any hazardous acts that would
    affect the landlord’s insurance premium on the property,
  • Give proper notice when he/she plan to end the tenancy.

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.