Q. Is my landlord registered?
A. Landlords are required by law to register any property that they intend to rent within four weeks of renting, with the local authority. To check whether your landlord is registered, ring your local authority and ask to be put through to the Register of Private Rented Dwellings.
Q. Can my landlord ‘drop-in’ whenever he or she likes?
A: No. The landlord has to notify the tenant when he wishes to call. Minimum notice period required is 24 hours, unless it's an emergency.
Q. Can the landlord increase my rent?
A. If you have a periodic tenancy then you have to pay the increase or try to persuade the landlord not to put the rent up. Legally the landlord can put up the rent as much and as often as he/she likes as long as you are given a week's notice if you pay rent weekly, or a month's notice if you pay rent monthly. Unfortunately, you have no option but to pay the increased rent or find somewhere else to live.
If you have a lease then the landlord cannot increase the rent during the period of the lease unless it contains a condition that specifically states he may do so. If you are in this position and the landlord still puts up the rent, you can refuse to pay the increase. It would be sensible to get legal advice before doing this.
Q. Where can I get information on tenant rights?
A. Threshold advice centres and the Threshold website www.threshold.ie. There is also a new tenancy board that has been set up by the government under The Residential Tenancy Bill 2003
Q. Am I entitled to rent relief?
A: If you pay income tax, you may be eligible for tax relief. Contact your local tax office.
Q. Can I be evicted at any time?
A. No. The landlord must serve notice to quit in writing, no less than four weeks in advance. However if you have a fixed term contract and you feel that you have been unjustly treated you must seek legal advice regarding the impending eviction. If you are in breach of your contract (e.g.: consistent non payment of late payment of rent, damage to the property, causing annoyance to neighbours etc…) the landlord has every right to seek eviction.
Q. Can I have Pets?
A. If your contract specifically states that pets are not permitted, the answer is no. However, if this is not the case and you wish to have a pet you must first consult with the landlord and then your fellow tenants.
Q. Can I have friends stay over?
A. Yes. But you cannot sublet, unless it is specified in the lease, or allow more than the specified number of people in the contract to reside in the property over night for any period of time.
Q. Who is responsible for repairs?
A. It is best to establish from the outset, when you make the tenancy agreement, which repairs are the landlord's responsibility and which are your own. Bring any repairs to your landlord's attention as soon as they arise.
Q. What is a Managed Property?
A. Property management is normally undertaken by an agent. Features of this service include rent collection and being the point of contact for any maintenance requirement that the property requires.