Landlords vs Tenants – Rights and Obligations

Tenancy Articles:

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  2. Landlords vs Tenants – Rights and Obligations
Updated on 15 September 2023

Landlord and tenant law

The main piece of legislation that cover residential landlords’ and tenants’ rights and obligations is: The Residential Tenancies Act.

Leases or other tenancy agreements cannot take away from tenants’ 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 if there is no fixed term lease in place,
  • 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,
  • Refer disputes to the RTB.

Landlord’s obligations

Landlord has the obligation to:


  • Register the tenancy within one month with the RTB upon its commencement and thereafter, annually within 1 month of the anniversary of the commencement date (Landlord can register the tenancy online at or submit an application by post),
  • Allow the tenant to enjoy peaceful and exclusive occupation,
  • Make sure that the property meets certain minimum standards,
  • Maintain the structure of the property and carry out any repairs needed to the structure and interior,
  • Maintain the property to the standard it was in at the start of the tenancy,
  • Reimburse tenants for any repairs they carried out as a result of a landlord’s inability to do so within a reasonable time,
  • Not charge more than one month’s rent as a security deposit and no more than one month’s advance payment of rent,
  • Provide his/her tenant with a rent book and receipts of payment,
  • Give tenants notice of any inspection of the property,
  • Give the tenant a written notice of termination when ending the tenancy,
  • Submit a copy of the Notice of Termination to the RTB on the same day as the notice is served on the tenant, where a tenancy has lasted more than 6 months, 
  • Return the tenant’s deposit promptly at the end of the tenancy, less any amount for rent arrears, lawful charges or damage beyond normal wear and tear,
  • Provide the tenant with contact details for you, or the agent working on your behalf if relevant,
  • Provide, where possible, suitable bins for refuse outside the property (e.g. exception applies where a management company is responsible for refuse),
  • Forward the management company of the dwelling any written complaint about it from the tenant and provide any response to the tenant,
  • Insure the structure of the property,
  • Enforce the obligations of a tenant (an obligation owed to third parties, e.g. a neighbour),
  • Pay tax on any rental income received,
  • Pay property taxes and any other charges that the tenant is not responsible for, as agreed in the lease,
  • By law, you 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 Rent Supplement, or membership of the Travelling Community.

Rent setting

  • A landlord cannot set the rent above market rent and if the property is in a rent pressure zone (RPZ), the rent can also not be greater than permitted by the RTB’s RPZ calculator (limited exemptions apply to the RPZ rent control),
  • If the property is in an RPZ, a landlord must inform the tenant in writing, at the start of the tenancy, of the amount of rent set under the previous tenancy, the date it was set and how it was calculated,
  • Unless there has been a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation since the last rent setting that warrants a different rent, a rent review cannot be carried out more than once: every: (i) 12 months if the property is in an RPZ, and (ii) 24 months if the property is outside an RPZ.
  • To change the rent, a landlord must serve a notice of rent review on the tenant in the prescribed form and 90 days’ notice of the new rent must be given,
  • A landlord must inform the RTB if relying on an exemption to the RPZ rent control by filling out a notice in the prescribed form and sending it to the RTB. If a landlord changes the rent, the landlord is obliged to inform the RTB of this within one month.


Landlords cannot ask a tenant to pay more than the equivalent of one month’s rent as a deposit to secure a tenancy.

A security deposit is considered the lawful property of the tenant unless the landlord establishes a right to it. As such, at the end of a tenancy, if a landlord believes they can retain any of the tenant’s deposit, they must provide evidence to support their claim to it.

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. Landlords cannot ask a tenant to pay more than one month’s rent in advance to secure a tenancy or during a tenancy. There is an exception for Student Specific Accommodation (SSA) tenancies.
  • Pay no more than the equivalent of one month’s rent as a security deposit,
  • Be informed about any increase in rent,
  • Be able to contact the landlord or their authorised agent at any reasonable time,
  • Be paid back monies from your landlord for any required repairs you carried out on the property
    that you asked the landlord to fix but which they did not remedy within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Certain minimum standards of accommodation,
  • A valid notice of termination before the end of a tenancy,
  • Refer any disputes to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

Tenant’s obligations

Tenant has the obligation to:

  • Pay his/her rent in full and on time, this applies even where a dispute case has been lodged to the RTB.
  • 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,
  • Allow the landlord to carry out inspections of the property at reasonable intervals on agreed dates and times,
  • Let the landlord know 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.

You can find more information here:

Source and more information: The Residential Tenancies Board’s:

PDF document by RTB, The Good Landlord Tenant Guide

Before renting a property you can search if a tenant or a landord is involved in RTB dispute in the RTB Dispute search.

Renting in college info by RTB