Make a List
Before you decide to rent your property you must ensure that your property complies with certain minimum standards under the law (e.g. free from damp, in good structural repair, hot and cold water, adequate means of heating and ventilation, appliances in good working order, electrical wiring, gas, pipes in good repair).
If your property looks like it has been well looked after and respected it is likely that your tenants will treat it with respect and at the end of their lease (or tenancy under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004) the property will be in a reasonable good condition.
Indicators of your prospective tenant’s ability to pay their rent
Attain a reference from your prospective tenant’s previous landlords.
Attain a reference from your prospective tenant’s employers.
If your prospective tenant’s are unemployed they may be entitled to rent supplement from the Health Service Executive (HSE) .Your rent will have to be below the maximum rent level set for your county by the HSE for your potential tenants to avail of rent supplement. Ask your potential tenants to get confirmation of the amount of their rent supplement.
If your prospective tenant’s are students you should always get their parents to act as guarantors to the lease.
The Interview: be careful not to discriminate
When you are satisfied with your prospective tenant’s ability to pay their rent it is time to interview them. Be careful with the questions you ask as equality law prohibits you from refusing to offer accommodation or from terminating a tenancy on any of the following nine grounds: gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race, membership of the traveller community. You should base your decisions on the merits of the prospective tenants.
Lease and contents list
Landlord tenant lease
You should take a picture of your property and its contents. You must also make a list of your contents which can be included as part of your lease.
Your tenants can then pay you your first months rent and one months rent in advance as a deposit.
Provide your tenants with rent books.
Register your residential property with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB).
You must not charge a rent that exceeds the market rent for the residential property.
You must provide your tenants with 28 days notice of any rent review.
Repair and maintain the structure of the premises.
Repair and maintain the interior of the dwelling to the standard which existed at the commencement of the tenancy.
Reimburse tenants for expenditure on repairs that should have been carried out by you.
Provide the tenant with information about any person who is authorised to deal on your behalf and ensure the tenant is able to contact you or your agent at reasonable times.
Allow your tenants to enjoy peaceful and exclusive occupation.
You are legally obliged to provide your tenants with rent books containing information on the tenancy, a record of all payments made by your tenants and a statement of the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.
If you fail to provide your tenants with rent books you may face a fine of up to €3,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months.
Rent books may be purchased directly from Threshold at a cost of €2 each (plus postage and packaging where applicable). Please see www.threshold.ie for further information.
Your rights as a landlord
Receive the correct rent on the due date.
Receive other charges or taxes as they fall due in accordance with the lease.
Review the rent annually.
Review the rent within a year if justified by a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation
Refer disputes about the tenancy to the PRTB provided it is registered
Receive notification of any repairs required and be allowed access to carry out repairs and (by appointment) for routine inspections.
Repair damage resulting from your tenant’s actions and recover the costs from your tenant’s.
Decide whether to allow your tenants to assign, sub-let, alter, improve or change the use of your property.
Be informed by the tenant of anyone ordinarily residing in the property.
Be informed by your tenants if they intend on renting your property after six months.
Terminate a lease.
Security of tenure-from six months to four years
For the first six months of your lease with your tenants you will be free to terminate it without giving a reason. After the first six months your tenants will be entitled to rent your property for four years. This is known as security of tenure or Part 4 tenancy under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004 (“The Act”).
You and your tenants are prohibited from entering into a lease that changes the provisions contained in Part 4 of the Act unless you give your tenants greater security of tenure than provided under the Act.
Each subsequent part four tenancy is called a “further Part 4 tenancy” and exists after 4 years unless you serve a valid termination notice.
The terms of each successive Part 4 tenancy remain the same as the first unless varied by agreement between you and your tenants.