As a tenant, you pay a landlord the right to live in his property. If that person has rights and obligations for letting, it is the same for a tenant. Before renting or sharing a property, it is important to know the law to avoid unpleasant surprises. So how to be a good tenant? Here are our tips about legal rights and obligations when renting or sharing a property in Ireland.
Your legal rights and obligations when renting or sharing
Whether you are a tenant or you are sharing with a property with someone, you have certain rights defined by the Rental housing Act 2004, by the Regulations housing.
All contracts and written agreement with the owner:
- The right to adequate housing: the rented housing must be in good condition (solid structure, hot and cold water always available, adequate heating, functional appliances, electrical connection cables and gas in good condition).
- Privacy right: your landlord has no right to come unexpectedly to the property except in case of emergency. Normally, he cannot access the site without your agreement.
- Work or maintenance right: the owner must refund you for repairs done. If the damage is higher than those incurred by normal renting, then the tenant must pay for repairs.
You have a right to live in an adequate housing with certain privacy and having your place maintained when it is needed.
As a tenant, you also have some obligations:
- Payment: you must pay the rent on time, and all utilities related to the property.
- Maintenance: you must maintain the property and let your landlord know when work is necessary. Then give him access to make repairs.
- Respect of the contract that binds you to the owner.
- Insurance: insuring your personal assets but also to the structure.
Don’t forget to pay your rent on time and keep an eye on the property condition.
Under your contract, you must comply with the notice period set by law. No justification is required to end a lease. See table below:
|Notice Period||Rental Period|
|28 days||Less than 6 months.|
|35 days||6 months or more but less than one year.|
|42 days||1 year or more but less than 2 years.|
|56 days||2 years or more but less than 3 years.|
|84 days||3 years or more but less than 4 years.|
|112 days||4 or more years.|
When the notice is given, and only at that time, you can agree on a shorter notice period.
No justification is required to end a lease. But keep in mind that you must give a notice which depends on your rental period.
In case of a harmful behaviour from the owner, the tenant may terminate the lease by giving a 28-day notice. This notice is regardless of the rental period. However, you must notify the owner by writing the reasons for your termination and grant him a reasonable time to remedy the problem mentioned. If the situation does not improve after this time, the tenant may then give notice.
If the problem is severe (presenting an imminent danger of injury or death), a 7-day notice may be given without giving warning to the owner.
Getting back the deposit
At the end of a lease, the landlord must give you back your deposit in full. However, in some cases he can retain all or part of it:
- If you have not given sufficient notice.
- If you kept some unpaid bills.
- If you have damaged the premises.
- If the premises are not sufficiently clean or tidy.
You can arrange amicably or by proposing to redo the household or by accepting that someone else takes care of it (but then the costs will be deducted from your deposit).
Be sure to establish a rental inventory and a statement of state of repair. This will allow you to prove your good faith at the time of exit, for improper claims by the owner after your departure.
You want your deposit fully refunded? Establish an inventory when you first move in .
In case of disputes
In case of disputes with your landlord, the written contract and the inventory will be of great help. Always try to resolve a dispute amicably, live with the owner before to get assistance from a third party.
If you want more information, contact the Citizens Information Centre.
If you fail to resolve the dispute, you can present your case to the PRTB.