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Landlords

Tenants

Housing Assistance Payments

NEWS

Recent changes to legislation

  • The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 provides for several changes. However, not all these provisions are yet in effect.
  • The provisions that are now in effect include:
    • Measures to prevent the simultaneous serving of termination notices on large numbers of residents in a single development
    • Increased security of tenure for tenancies created from 24 December 201
    • Designation of Rent Pressure Zones, in which rent increases will be capped – with effect from 24 December 2016
    • Simplified procedures for dispute resolution
    • Extending the tenancy cycle for Part 4 tenancies from 4 years to 6 years
    • Requiring a landlord to give a reason when terminating a Further Part 4 tenancy in the first 6 months
  • New standards came into effect on 1st July 2017 and the information below summarises the Minimum Standards and highlights the new obligations for landlords.

Landlord Rights & Obligations

What are my responsibilities as a landlord?

  • Make sure your property is at a rentable standard, if you are unsure of what this is speak to one of our property experts today.
  • Insure your property.
  • In searching for the right tenant remember that you cannot refuse to rent a property to someone because of their gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, receipt of State housing payments, such as Rent Supplement, or membership of the Travelling Community
  • Do up a lease outlining tenant and landlord obligations and special requirements
  • Register your tenancy within one month of the start of the tenancy.
  • Make sure there is access to refuse bins at the property.
  • Schedule regular property inspections with the tenant.
  • Maintain the property to the standard it was in at the start of the tenancy.
  • Pay property taxes and any other charges that the tenant is not responsible for, as agreed in the lease.
  • Provide the tenant with contact details for you or the agent working on your behalf.
  • If ending a tenancy:
    • Give the tenant a written notice of termination at the end of the tenancy outlining reasons for termination and in line with RTB guidelines.
    • Return the tenants’ deposit promptly at the end of the tenancy, unless lawfully withheld. a tenancy early, you can deduct for the losses incurred.
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What Standards should my rented property meet?

  • By law, your rented property must meet minimum standards. Local authorities are responsible for enforcing these standards and carry out regular inspections of rented accommodation. If your property does not meet these minimum standards, you could be prosecuted. Further information about minimum standards is available on www.rtb.ie and www.housing.gov.ie.
  • A brief synopsis of minimum standards include:
    • The building must be free from damp and in good structural repair.
    • There must be hot and cold water available to the tenant.
    • The building must have adequate ventilation and heating, which the tenant can control
    • Appliances must be in good working order.
    • Electrical wiring, gas and water pipes should be in good repair.
    • A 4-ring hob, oven, grill, fridge, freezer (or combined fridge-freezer), and microwave oven must be provided. This does not apply to Approved Housing Body tenants.
    • Access to a fire blanket and fire alarms.
    • Access to refuse bins.
    • Provision of laundry facilities like a washing machine and access to a dryer (if there is no access to a yard) – this does not apply to Approved Housing Body tenants. New minimum standards since July 2017 include:
    • There must be suitable safety restrictors attached to a window which has an opening through which a person may fall and the bottom of the opening is more than 1400mm above the external ground level. Suitable safety restrictors must secure the window sufficiently to prevent such falls.
    • Properties should contain, where necessary, devices that trigger alarms for carbon monoxide (a deadly gas). These devices should be in suitable locations and be in good working order.
    • Each bathroom or shower room should contain a permanently fixed heater that is properly maintained. The room should also be properly ventilated.
    • If repairs or an inspection need to be carried out, you must make an arrangement with the tenant to enter the property. You are only allowed to enter the property with the tenant’s permission, or in an emergency however you must try to contact the tenant first.

What are my legal obligations as a landlord

  • Before renting ensure that your property complies with minimum standards. If your property does not comply to these Minimum Standards, as a landlord, you could be prosecuted.
  • Secure indicators of prospective tenants ability to pay rent
  • Be careful not to discriminate when screening tenants
  • Ensure your lease and inventory are water tight
  • Ensure you have proof of payment for deposit and rent
  • Register your tenancy with RTB
  • Must not charge rent that exceeds market rent
  • Provide tenant with 90 days notice of rent review
  • Repair and maintain the structure of the property
  • Repair and maintain the interior
  • Reimburse tenant expenses for repairs that should have been carried out by you
  • Provide tenant with information about any person who is authorised to deal on your behalf and ensure open lines of communication
  • Allow your tenants to enjoy peaceful and exclusive occupation
  • Ensure tenants are aware of their obligations and comply with them
  • Return any deposit due in full unless breach of tenant responsibilities
  • Serve valid notice of termination

Rent a room Relief

  • If you rent out a room or flat in your home you are exempt from income tax on the amount that your tenant pays for rent and other services up to €14,000 a year
  • For more information please follow this link

Landlord Taxation Obligations

  • Landlords pay tax on rental income under Revenue’s self-assessment system
  • You can deduct interest on money borrowed to purchase, improve or repair rented property when working out your rental income for tax purposes
  • Must show that you have registered all tenancies in the property with the RTB
  • For Residential properties this deduction is restricted to 75% of the interest accruing on loans
  • Interest can only be deducted during period which property is let
  • Since 2016 landlords who rent residential property for 3 years to tenant on social housing support can deduct all of the interest that accrues during that 3 year period
  • Social housing supports include the Housing Assistance Payment, the Rental Accommodation Scheme and Rent Supplement.
  • You must submit an undertaking to the RTB stating your commitment of property to social housing for 3 years
  • You can get the form for registering an undertaking on the RTB’s website (pdf).
  • If you are living outside Ireland and tenant pays directly to you then tenant must deduct tax from the gross rent and account for it to revenue
  • Some useful resources with regards landlord taxation obligations are as follows;

Tax when transferring Ownership

  • When ownership of a property is transferred, the financial gains are usually liable to tax but some exemptions and reliefs apply.
  • For instance, when you sell a property, any profit you make over the amount that you paid for it would usually be liable for Capital Gains Tax. There is however an exemption if the property is the main residence where you live. See Revenue leaflet CGT2 (pdf) for an introduction to Capital Gains Tax or see the more detailed Guide to Capital Gains Tax (pdf).
  • If you receive property as a gift or inheritance, you may have to pay Capital Acquisitions Tax. A number of reliefs and exemptions apply including transfers between spouses or civil partners or the receipt of a house that has been your main residence.

Stamp Duty

  • Stamp duty is a tax that may be payable when ownership of a property is transferred. The current rate is 1% for residential property valued up to €1 million and 2% on the balance. You can get more information visiting the citizensinformation.ie website here

What is an RPZ

  • If you are a landlord in an RPZ which a tenancy began before 24 December 2016 then can only reviewed 24 months after the tenancy came into existence or after the last rent was last set. Thereafter you can review the rent every 12 months in accordance with the RTB formula
  • If you are a landlord with a tenancy in a RPZ which began after 24th of December 2016 you can review the rent very 12 months in accordance with the RTB formula
  • If you are outside of the RPZ you can review the rent every two years and it must be line with the market rates

Tenant Rights & Obligations

Rights as a private tenant

  • You are entitled to quiet and exclusive enjoyment of your home. If noise from other tenants or neighbours is disturbing you, ask them to stop and also inform your landlord. If this does not work, you can make a formal complaint.
  • You are entitled to certain minimum standards of accommodation
  • You are entitled to a rent book
  • You have the right to contact the landlord or their agent at any reasonable times. You are also entitled to have appropriate contact information (telephone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, etc.)
  • Your landlord is only allowed to enter your home with your permission. If the landlord needs to carry out repairs or inspect the premises, it should be by prior arrangement, except in an emergency
  • You are entitled to reimbursement for any repairs that you carry out that are the landlord’s responsibility
  • You are entitled to have visitors to stay overnight or for short periods, unless specifically forbidden in your tenancy agreement. You must tell your landlord if you have an extra person moving in
  • You are entitled to a certain amount of notice of the termination of your tenancy
  • You are entitled to refer any disputes to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) without being penalised for doing so
  • You have the right to a copy of any register entry held by the RTB dealing with your tenancy
  • All homes for rent must have a Building Energy Rating (BER), stating how energy-efficient the home is. This will help you to make an informed choice when comparing properties to rent.

What are my responsibilities as a tenant?

  • Your main legal rights and responsibilities as a tenant derive from landlord and tenant law as well as from any lease or tenancy agreement between you and your landlor
  • The main legislation covering these rights and obligations is contained in the Landlord and Tenant Acts 1967 to 1994, the Residential Tenancies Act 2004and the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015
  • Pay your rent in full and on time.
  • Keep the property in good order and inform the landlord when repairs are needed. Provide the landlord and those carrying out repairs access to fix the maintenance issues.
  • Ensure that you do not harm the property for example drying clothes inside without proper ventilation, as this may cause mildew to spread.
  • Enable the owner or agent to carry out inspections of the property at reasonable intervals on an agreed date and at an agreed time.
  • Keep the owner or agent informed of who is living in the property. They are entitled to know who is living in the property, and you can not let others move in without consent.
  • Do not engage in antisocial behaviour.
  • Comply with the terms of the tenancy agreement, whether written or verbal.
  • Provide proper notice when you plan to end the tenancy.
  • Keep a record of all repairs, payments and dealings with the landlord.
  • Ensuring you do not do anything that could affect the insurance premium on the property. For instance, you should not engage in any hazardous acts that would invalidate your insurance on the structure of the dwelling
  • If you have any property related questions on of our property experts will be happy to help
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Tips on renting privately

  • Check rtb.ie to see if your landlord has had a case taken against them by another tenant before renting the accommodation
  • Get a receipt for rent and deposit payment
  • Get a copy of any lease from the agent and landlord
  • Make sure to double check the inventory and reply to agent or landlord promptly with any queries preferably with photographic evidence of any issues not mentioned in the initial report
  • Maintain the property as if it were your own
  • Keep your agent informed of any maintenance issues promptly
  • Consult agent or landlord regarding any changes that you wish to make to the property
  • Consult agent/ landlord about any changes to occupants
  • When Ending a tenancy (Tenant)
    • Send the landlord or agent a notice of termination with the required period of notice
    • Request the inventory
    • Check off the inventory adding notes where there have been any changes and why
    • If repairs needed to restore property to rented condition make them
    • If furniture has been put in storage put everything back as it as when rented

A Guide to the Residential Tenancies Act

Security of tenure

  • If you have been renting for at least 6 months and have not been served with a valid written notice of termination, in general you automatically acquire security of tenure and can stay in the property for a number of years.
  • If your tenancy started on or before 24 December 2016, this period is 4 years
  • If your tenancy started after 24 December 2016, this period is 6 years. This security of tenure continues in 6-year (formerly 4-year) cycles.
  • So, after the first 6 months, your tenancy becomes what is known as a Part 4 tenancy – this refers to Part 4 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, which deals with security of tenure. Read more in our document Private tenants: security of tenure.
  • This right to remain is subject to certain rights that the landlord continues to have. The landlord may reclaim the property for a number of reasons – for more information on this visit the RTB website.

Paying and reclaiming your deposit

  • You will probably have to pay a security deposit when you agree to rent the property. The landlord holds this deposit as security to cover any rent arrears, bills owing or damage beyond normal wear and tear at the end of the tenancy. There are no rules about the amount of the deposit, but it is usually equal to one month’s rent.
  • For more information on avoiding scams or other potential pitfalls Threshold provides useful tips
  • Your landlord must provide you with an inventory of the contents of the property. It is advisable to record the condition of everything that is listed, taking photos if possible, and agree this in writing with your landlord.
  • In general, when you leave a property at the end of the agreed rental period or after giving the agreed notice, the landlord must return your security deposit, promptly and in full
  • However, if you leave before the end of the agreed period, the landlord may keep your deposit, even if you have given notice. (You may also be liable for the amount of rent due until the end of the lease, depending on what is stated in the lease agreement.)
  • The landlord may keep part or all of the deposit in the following situations:
    • Rent arrears
    • Unpaid bills
    • Damage above normal wear and tear
    • If you have not given adequate notice
  • The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015provides for a new tenancy deposit protection scheme.

Housing Assistance Payment

  • The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need
  • Under the HAP scheme you can take up full-time employment and keep your housing support. The scheme is administered by the local authorities, who pay landlords directly

Landlord Info

  • What are the benefits?
    • Direct electronic payment on the last Wednesday of each month
    • Consistency of payment regardless of change in tenants income
    • Minimal hassle and administration
    • Ease of tracking payments
    • Tax Relief- Since 1st of Jan 2016 landlords who rent to tenants in receipts of social housing supports can claim 100% on their mortgage interest as an expense against rental income
  • What information is needed for application
    • Total amount of monthly rent
    • Proof of ownership
    • Header from bank statement
    • Proof of compliance with standards for rental accommodation
    • An undertaking regarding your tax compliance
    • Landlords PPSN or Tax reference number
  • Who pays the deposit?
    • Under HAP the local authority does not pay the deposit but the Department of Social Protection may assist in paying deposit
  • Can HAP payments be suspended?
    • If tenants weekly contribution is not paid, property doesn’t meet rental accommodation standards or no evidence of tax compliance
  • How does changeover from Rent Supplement to HAP work
    • Local Authorities work with Dept of Social Protection to change tenants over from Rent Supplement on a phased basis
    • Tenant requests to make changeover to landlord

HAP Info For Tenants

  • The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need
  • Under the HAP scheme you can take up full-time employment and keep your housing support. The scheme is administered by the local authorities, who pay landlords directly
  • How does it benefit me;
    • Allows recipients to work full time whilst still receiving housing support
    • Rent contribution based on ‘differential rent scheme’ for local authority which is linked to household income and ability to pay
    • Tied in with improving standards of rental accommodation with local authorities inspecting properties
    • Still allowed to avail of other social housing supports
    • Local Authorities the single point of contact for all other social housing supports
  • How does it work;
    • HAP recipients find their own accommodation which should be within HAP rent limits
    • Local authority makes HAP payment directly to landlord or agent on last Wednesday of every month
    • You must pay rent contribution to your local authority
    • The earliest date from which your local authority will make payments is the the date they receive the completed and valid HAP application
    • Local Authority decides what level of differential rent you will be asked to pay
    • Your tenancy is covered under the Residential Tenancies Act 2014
    • Under HAP you are also allowed to work full time and as your income increases so will your rent contribution
    • Rent contribution to be paid electronically
    • Your local authority will arrange to inspect your property within 8 months of first HAP payment
    • Once approved for HAP you are expected to stay in the property for at least two years
    • You must pay your own deposit or seek assistance from Dept of Social Protection to pay
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