Almost all the relevant rules and regulations governing domestic letting agreements are contained in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.
As a tenant in the property you are entitled to exclusive possession. Nobody, not even the landlord, can come on the property without your permission. Once you have been in occupation of the property for six months or more you are entitled to what is known as a Part Four Tenancy which entitles you to continue on in the tenancy for another 3 1/2 years, subject to the terms and conditions of the lease.
If you have a Part Four tenancy the landlord cannot terminate except in specific circumstances where:
- The tenants do not comply with their obligations.
- The house is no longer suitable for the tenant and/or the other occupants of the property.
- The landlord or a member of his family intend to reside on the property.
- The landlord genuinely wishes to sell the property.
- Substantial refurbishment is required which would make it impossible for continued occupation by the tenant.
- There is to be a change of use of the property e.g. from domestic to office.
If your landlord wants you to move out he has to provide you with notice in advance. The length of the notice varies depending on how much time you have been in occupation. This varies from 28 days where you are less than six months in the property to 112 days if you have been there for four years or more.
If you are moving out
You should give written notice to your landlord varying between 28 days if you are there for less than six months up to 56 days if you are there for two years or more.
The tenant is expected to return the property to the landlord in the same or similar condition that they got it. If there is any damage, apart from fair wear and tear, then the landlord may be entitled to retain some of the deposit money to cover repairs.
As a tenant you are required to;
- Pay your rent in full and on time
- Pay your water charges, refuse charges and the other taxes you have agreed to pay.
- Report any damage or defects to the landlord and allow reasonable access to inspect and repair.
- Not to damage the property or allow its condition to deteriorate.
- Not to allow antisocial behaviour on the property which might interfere with neighbours.
- Not to sublet the property without the landlords written consent.
- Not to make any structural changes the property without the written consent of the landlord.
- Not to change the purpose of the dwelling e.g. change to offices.
You should look at the letting agreement which you have received from your landlord if you want to check the specific terms.
Landlord – Your Entitlements.
As a landlord you are entitled to receive your rent and, ideally, have quiet nuisance free tenants.
- The landlord’s obligations mirror the tenants’ entitlements i.e.
- Allow the tenant exclusive occupation.
- To carry out repairs as when they become necessary
- To insure the premises
- To provide a rent book.
- To provide a letting agreement so that the tenants are sure of the entitlements.
- To repay the deposit when required, subject to any retention for damage.
All disputes must be dealt with through the Residential Tenancies Board- the RTB. It is your landlord’s obligation to register the tenancy with the RTB. You can check this online through the RTB website at www.prtb.ie.
The RTB now offers a Telephone Mediation Service, cost free, which tries to iron out difficulties by telephone communication with both landlord and tenant. There is no charge for this and it is the first step in the quest for a solution.
There is also a Mediation Service in which disputes can be, hopefully, solved by both parties working together through a Mediator to achieve a mutually satisfactory solution.
The next step up is seeking Adjudication by the RTB. This involves a hearing by an officer of the RTB. Both sides have the opportunity to state their case and the adjudication result is made available within a few weeks.
If either party is not satisfied with the Adjudicator’s decision they can appeal it to the Tribunal. This is a three-person body which sits to rehear the case. Their decision will be final. The only appeal is to the High Court on a point of law.
If either party fails to comply with the determination made by the tribunal they can be taken to court to enforce compliance and they can be asked to pay the associated costs and expenses.
Driven mad by antisocial behaviour in rented property?
If the behaviour of tenants and their visitors in a nearby rented property is causing problems you can make a complaint to the RTB to make the landlord eliminate the nuisance.
The most typical example is loud noise late at night.
Other examples are bullying and intimidation, assaults, littering and refuse problems, drug use and dealing and reckless parking to mention a few.
The procedure is outlined in section 15.1 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 which allows for an application to be made to the RTB to stop the nuisance.
Before making this application the landlords should be approached to see if they will sort out the difficulty. If that fails an application should be made to the RTB under this section.