Private Rented Housing
The statutory changes made in recent years with regard to private rented housing include the following:
- Housing (Registration of Rented Houses) Regulations1996
- Housing (Rent Books) Regulations1993
- Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) 1993 Regulations
Any obligation of a landlord described on this page may be carried out on the landlord's behalf by a duly appointed agent.
Registration of rented houses
Tenancies falling within the scope of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 will have to be registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (see Contact Us above) – landlords no longer register with the Council. It is the responsibility of the landlord to register the details with the Board. Landlords failing to register a tenancy may be guilty of an offence and upon conviction shall be liable for a fine of up to €3,000 and/or up to 6 months in prison, along with a daily fine of €250 for a continuing offence. A tenancy must be registered with the Board before the landlord can avail of the Board’s dispute resolution service. This restriction does not apply to tenants wishing to avail of the service. Both the landlord and the tenants are entitled to a copy of the details entered on the register. Landlords must register details of all their tenancies with the PRTB.
The Residential Tenancies Act 2004, including the requirement to register, applies to the vast majority of private rented dwellings. However, there are certain dwellings that are excluded, including:
- Business Premises
- A dwelling in which Part II of the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Act 1982 applies, i.e. formerly rent controlled dwelling occupied by the “original tenant” or his/her spouse)
- A dwelling let by a Local Authority or Voluntary Housing Body
- A Holiday let
- A dwelling in which the landlord is also resident
- A dwelling in which the spouse, parent or child of the landlord is resident and there is no written lease or tenancy agreement
Provision of rent books
Tenants must be provided with a rent book in which are recorded all rent payments. The rent book, or letting agreement, must contain other information about the tenancy, specified by the Rent Book Regulations:
- Address of the rented dwelling
- Name and address of the landlord
- Name of the tenant
- Term of the tenancy
- Amount of rent, when and how it is to be paid
- Details of other payments (e.g. telephone, TV)
- Amount and purpose of any deposit paid and the conditions under which it will be returned to the tenant.
- Statement of information on basic rights and duties of landlords and tenants
Standards for rented houses
Landlords are required by law, to ensure that their property complies with certain minimum standards (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 the property does not comply with these standards, the landlord may be prosecuted, following inspection of the property by the Council.
On the 1st of February, 2013, Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 will come into effect for all residential rented accommodation. This will mean that all rental accommodation must have its own separate sanitary facilities. In addition, updated requirements in relation to heating and facilities for cooking, food storage and laundry will apply to rented accommodation. A summary of these articles' requirements is set out below.
- Sanitary facilities - Article 6 All rental accommodation must have a separate room, contained within the rented dwelling, with a toilet, wash basin and a fixed bath or shower with hot and cold water facilities.
- Heating facilities - Article 7 All habitable rooms must contain a fixed appliance capable of providing effective heating and the tenant must be able to control the operation of such an appliance.
- Food preparation and storage and laundry – Article 8 Each rented dwelling must have adequate facilities for the hygienic storage, preparation and cooking of food and access to a washing machine and dryer. Responsibility for enforcement of these standards rests with the local authorities.
The penalties for non-compliance with the regulations is a fine of €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, and the fine for each day of a continuing offense is €400.
Further details on the standards for rented houses are available at www.environ.ie or enquiries may be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or see Residential Tenancies Act 2004 - A quick guide
Inspections of Private Rented Houses