A landlord in Ireland is the owner of land or a building owner who has leased that land, building or a part of the land or building, to another person.
The person a landlord rents this land or building to, is called a ‘tenant’. Your rights and obligations as a landlord in Ireland come from specific landlord / tenant law. In addition, your rights and obligations stem from any written or verbal tenancy agreement between you and your tenant. Leases or other tenancy agreements cannot take away from your or your tenants’ legal rights. However, you and your tenant can agree on matters that are not dealt with in law. The main legislation governing these rights and obligations in private rented accommodation is set down in the Landlord and Tenants Acts 1967 – 1994 and the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The following is a general overview of your rights, duties and obligations as a landlord.
Rights as a landlord
You have the right to:
- set the rent (although the rent cannot be more than the current market rate)
- receive the correct rent on the date it is due
- receive any charges associated with the property (this means taxes and duties or payments)
- 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 (however if you refuse to allow a tenant to assign or sublet a tenancy this refusal can gives the tenant the right to terminate a fixed-term tenancy before its expiry date).
- be informed of any repairs needed
- be given reasonable access to the property to carry out repairs
- refer disputes to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) if the tenancy is registered with them. You do not have the right to enter your tenants’ home without permission
- take or retain your tenants’ property – even if they haven’t paid the rent
- penalise tenants for bringing a dispute to the PRTB
Obligations of a landlord
- register the tenancy with the PRT
- provide your 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 your 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 your behalf (e.g. management companies, agencies, personal representatives)
- ensure the tenant knows how to contact you (or your agent)
- 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)
- You must also make sure that the tenants meet their obligations. Anyone that is affected by your tenants’ failure to meet their obligations can make a complaint against you to the PRTB. See ‘Tenants’ rights and obligations’ for more on these obligations
As a landlord you may withhold a deposit (or part of a deposit) only if;
- the tenant has not given you proper notice when leaving
- you have been left with outstanding bills (i.e., public utilities) or rent
- the tenant has caused damage beyond normal wear and tear
Refusal to grant a tenancy
The Equal Status Act 2000 applies to lettings. You cannot discriminate against potential tenants on grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Travelling Community.
Tax on rental income
Landlords pay tax on rental income under the Revenue Commissioner’s Self-Assessment system. You are entitled to deduct some expenses from the tax you pay on rental income and A Revenue Guide to Rental Income (PDF, 79.9KB) gives information on the expenses you can claim. If you rent out a room in your home you are exempt from income tax provided the amount of rent does not exceed a certain amount.
How to apply
If you feel your rights as a landlord have been infringed, you do have some methods of redress. In the case of disputes regarding private tenancy agreements, you may take your case to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) provided you are registered with the Board.
Where to apply
The Private Residential Tenancies Board is an organisation set up by the Government. One of its functions is to mediate disputes between landlords and tenants in private rented accommodation.