Rental information
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Rental information

Landlordism often has a bad reputation, especially so in Ireland where the historical connotations apply. Yet the old image of absentee landlords with their greed and evictions often apply to the older era of landlordism with its lax regulations, poor standards of care and unscrupulous individuals.

Many modern landlords in comparison are part-time or casual landlords, as aware as their tenants are of the financial struggles of daily life. Many people buy second properties as investments for their future, which they then aim to rent out whilst waiting for capital appreciation. Part time or casual landlords are in the vast majority when it comes to rented property and only a small minority are professional landlords, dedicated full time to the career. 

Prospective landlords should be aware that like most things in life, it is not a route to easy money. A tenant expects the property to be in working condition, with proper services and a quick turnaround time to complaints or problems raised. Vacant periods, unpaid rents, troublesome tenants and fluctuations in income obtained can all make renting a stressful choice for many people who may not actually be suited to the profession.

Similarly, for tenants, renting can be a nightmare too with landlords who do not maintain the property, rising rents, rent reviews or the same unruly and noisy neighbours that may be causing another landlord such trouble.

Both parties however often have more in common than they might think - a stress free, pleasant term of renting in which both parties emerge as winners. A situation such as this requires close co-operation between tenant and landlord alike with both parties fulfilling their contractual obligations to ensure a trouble free occupancy. Landlords expect a tenant to maintain the property to a satisfactory standard, not cause noise or trouble with neighbours and to pay any due rent or bills on time. Tenants want landlords to promptly fix any broken appliances, allow them their privacy and be contactable if needs be.

While most tenants and landlords adhere to their obligations, sometimes relationships do break down with each side blaming the other. In these instances, each side should meet to fairly settle their differences first and foremost, allowing for the principal of compromise to amenably resolve the dispute. Should this fail, the new Dispute Resolution Service for landlords and tenants is provided by the PRTB to allow mediation to occur - see here for more information.  

For Landlords and tenants, some common sense applies:


The tenant is entitled to a proper standard of care in their rented accommodation. Broken appliances should be replaced or fixed forthwith and any issues with the property dealt with accordingly. 

You should be easily contactable by the tenant. Rerouting calls through Bermuda to avoid complaints about a leaking pipe is not the way to conduct a business. 

Proper contracts and an up to date rent book should be provided to the tenant. All rent lodgements should be kept on file (as should any bills, contracts or letters concerning any tenancy). 

Any bills for utilities should be in the tenants name to avoid responsibility for their liabilities. This includes electricity, gas, refuse, TV and phone bills as the most common. Prior to any tenancy, take a meter reading which should be included in the letting contracts, especially for any oil, gas or electricity.

Pets are normally disallowed in the standard letting contracts yet many landlords do not actually mind household pets, provided they are looked after and house trained. If someone mentions they have a pet, check what type it is - large and energetic Labradors are not suited to a one bed apartment! If you are going to allow a household pet, write it into the contract - the type possessed and the number allowed. If you simply scribble ‘pets allowed,’ your property could turn into a zoo. 

At the beginning of each tenancy, the property should be photographed, providing solid evidence of the condition of the property. An inventory of all items supplied or in the house should be signed off on by both parties.

Security deposits and any deductions at the end of a tenancy are another subject of recurring disputes between landlords and tenants. Normal wear and tear is not deductible from security deposits - broken windows and holes in walls are.

If you require vacant possession of the property, notice periods are normally included in the contract. There are also new regulations concerning the ending of tenancies which are included in the 2004 Residential Tenancies Act and notice periods depend on the length of time the tenant has been in situ. 

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Landlords are people too! Paying any rent due and on time is the easiest way to maintain a good working relationship with your landlord. Late or overdue rents often cause untold hassle with subsequent mortgage payments that may be due on the property.

Like landlords, it is also good practise for a tenant to photograph the property at the beginning of each tenancy. An inventory of all items supplied or in the house should be signed off on by both parties. If you notice anything is damaged, torn, worn or missing, write it down on the inventory listing. This is not being rude or ignorant, it is simply being precise.

If there are any accidents or mishaps at the property, bring these to the immediate attention of the landlord. In the case of broken appliances or fixtures, allow a reasonable time for these to be fixed once you have notified the landlord.

If the landlord is completely uncontactable, try and obtain two or three quotes before proceeding with any repairs in the event of an emergency. Invoices should be retained for the attention of the landlord.

Tenants, like homeowners, also have a responsibility towards their neighbours, keeping any noise or disruption to a minimum. Weekly house parties, discarded rubbish, night-time noise or abusive behaviour is often the most common cause of complaints. If one of your neighbours is causing disruptive behaviour, bring it to the attention of the landlord who may know their landlord or be able help you in dealing with it. 

When moving out, provide as much notice as possible to the landlord. Whilst the minimum notice periods will be stated in your contract, many landlords appreciate more. 

On the final day of the tenancy, it is a good idea to accompany the landlord as they inspect the property. If this is not possible, take more photographs concerning the condition of the property before you leave. In the majority of cases, most landlords are happy if the property is left clean and tidy so give the property a good scrub before you go, including kitchen, cookers, showers and toilets. Take all your property with you - no leaving bags of old clothes in wardrobes or cracked plastic patio furniture in the back yard. Cleaning up after tenants have departed is the bugbear of some landlords who will bill the cost to your security deposit.  


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