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Property Law

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019-Key Changes

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 has made some significant changes in respect of residential lettings/tenancies. Let’s take a look at them:

Termination of tenancy-notice periods

Duration of tenancy Notice period from 4th June 2019
Less than 6 months 28 days
6 months to 1 year 90 days
1 year to 2 years 120 days
2 years to 3 years 120 days
3 years to 4 years 180 days
4 years to 5 years 180 days
5 years to 6 years 180 days
6 years to 7 years 180 days
7 years to 8 years 196 days
8 or more years 224 days
  • A copy of the termination notice must be sent to the RTB within 28 days after the expiration of the notice period
  • Termination to sell the property: the landlord must enter into a contract to sell the property within 9 months of termination; if this does not happen he must offer the property to a former tenant
  • Termination to allow occupation by a family member: if the family member leaves the property within 1 year it must be offered to the former tenant
  • Termination for substantial refurbishment: the property must be offered back to the tenant when the refurbishment is completed; the landlord must also furnish an architect’s certificate confirming that the tenant must, for health and safety reasons, vacate the property for 3 weeks
  • Termination for change of use: if a property becomes available for letting within 12 months it must be reoffered to the tenant

Rent controls

Existing rent pressure zones have been extended to 2021 with new areas being added as the average rent in the state will be calculated by excluding average rents in Dublin and the greater Dublin area.

Properties that were not let in the previous two years in a RPZ were exempt from the 4% annual cap; this exemption has been removed.

Properties that had a substantial change in the nature of accommodation provided were exempt; now there is a definition of what constitutes substantial change. A change must involve either a permanent extension which increases the floor area of the property by 25% or an improvement of the BER rating by 7 or more ratings or at least 3 of a list of other factors-for example, a permanent increase in the number of rooms or adaptation of the property for access by persons with a disability.

There are also new notification requirements for a landlord seeking to rely on an exemption from the RPZ rent restriction.

The restriction on rent reviews every 2 years which was to expire in 2019 has been extended by 2 more years to 2021.

Offences and penalties

It will be an offence for landlords to be in breach of the provisions dealing with rent restrictions or providing false information to RTB or failing to comply with notice periods or notices from RTB.

The RTB now have extended powers to include the power to carry out investigations, deal with complaints, conduct oral hearings, and impose sanctions on landlords for improper conduct which is defined in the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019.

Sanctions can involve the payment of a financial penalty up to €15,000 to RTB and the payment of RTB’s costs up to a maximum of €15,000.

Criminal proceedings can also be taken against landlords and appeals/applications may be brought to the Circuit Court.

Registration fees

There is now a new annual registration fee as well as the original registration fee on the commencement of the tenancy. For a single dwelling this is €40 and €40 annually with a bulk registration facility of €170 of up to 10 tenancies in the same property.

Student accommodation

The act extends the scope of the residential tenancies legislation to student accommodation but this has not come into effect yet. Properties where the landlord lives-for example digs-are excluded from the legislation.

Short term lettings

A short term letting (up to 14 days) will require planning permission as it will be considered a change of use from a planning perspective. This is designed to hit Airbnb type lettings in Rent Protection Zones.

Conclusion

There are some significant changes in this legislation to which landlords should pay close attention, particularly in a climate of a housing/accommodation shortage and a growing awareness of tenants in relation to their rights as tenants.

Categories
Property Law

Residential Letting Agreements in Ireland-An Overview

residential-letting-ireland

The Residential Tenancies Act, 2004 applies to every dwelling which is the subject of a tenancy, subject to some exceptions.

The most important exceptions are

  • a dwelling let for holiday purposes
  • a dwelling within which the landlord resides
  • a dwelling within which the spouse, parent or child of the landlord resides.

In fact, there are nine categories of dwelling not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004 which are set out in section 3(1) (subsection 2) of the Act:

(2) Subject to section 4 (2), this Act does not apply to any of the following dwellings—
(a) a dwelling that is used wholly or partly for the purpose of carrying on a business, such that the occupier could, after the tenancy has lasted 5 years, make an application under section 13 (1)(a) of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 in respect of it,
(b) a dwelling to which Part II of the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Act 1982 applies,
(c) a dwelling let by or to—
(i) a public authority, or
(ii) a body standing approved for the purposes of section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 and which is occupied by a person referred to in section 9 (2) of the Housing Act 1988 ,
(d) a dwelling, the occupier of which is entitled to acquire, under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents) (No. 2) Act 1978 , the fee simple in respect of it,
(e) a dwelling occupied under a shared ownership lease,
(f) a dwelling let to a person whose entitlement to occupation is for the purpose of a holiday only,
(g) a dwelling within which the landlord also resides,
(h) a dwelling within which the spouse, parent or child of the landlord resides and no lease or tenancy agreement in writing has been entered into by any person resident in the dwelling,
(i) a dwelling the subject of a tenancy granted under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 or under Part III of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1931 or which is the subject of an application made under section 21 of theLandlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 and the court has yet to make its determination in the matter.

Residential Tenancies Act 2004

Part 2 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004 is divided into 2 chapters. Chapter 1 deals with the landlord’s obligations and chapter 2 deals with the tenant’s obligations.

Landlord’s Obligations

Section 12 sets out the landlord’s obligations:

12.—(1) In addition to the obligations arising by or under any other enactment, a landlord of a dwelling shall—
(a) allow the tenant of the dwelling to enjoy peaceful and exclusive occupation of the dwelling,
(b) subject to subsection (2), carry out to—
(i) the structure of the dwelling all such repairs as are, from time to time, necessary and ensure that the structure complies with any standards for houses for the time being prescribed under section 18 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 , and
(ii) the interior of the dwelling all such repairs and replacement of fittings as are, from time to time, necessary so that that interior and those fittings are maintained in, at least, the condition in which they were at the commencement of the tenancy and in compliance with any such standards for the time being prescribed,
(c) subject to subsection (3), effect and maintain a policy of insurance in respect of the structure of the dwelling, that is to say a policy—
(i) that insures the landlord against damage to, and loss and destruction of, the dwelling, and
(ii) that indemnifies, to an amount of at least €250,000, the landlord against any liability on his or her part arising out of the ownership, possession and use of the dwelling,
(d) subject to subsection (4), return or repay promptly any deposit paid by the tenant to the landlord on entering into the agreement for the tenancy or lease,
(e) notify the tenant of the name of the person, if any, (the “authorised agent”) who is authorised by the landlord to act on his or her behalf in relation to the tenancy for the time being,
(f) provide to the tenant particulars of the means by which the tenant may, at all reasonable times, contact him or her or his or her authorised agent,
(g) without prejudice to any other liability attaching in this case, reimburse the tenant in respect of all reasonable and vouched for expenses that may be incurred by the tenant in carrying out repairs to the structure or interior of the dwelling for which the landlord is responsible under paragraph (b) where the following conditions are satisfied—
(i) the landlord has refused or failed to carry out the repairs at the time the tenant requests him or her to do so, and
(ii) the postponement of the repairs to some subsequent date would have been unreasonable having regard to either—
(I) a significant risk the matters calling for repair posed to the health or safety of the tenant or other lawful occupants of the dwelling, or
(II) a significant reduction that those matters caused in the quality of the tenant’s or other such occupants’ living environment,
(h) if the dwelling is one of a number of dwellings comprising an apartment complex—
(i) forward to the management company, if any, of the complex any complaint notified in writing by the tenant to him or her concerning the performance by the company of its functions in relation to the complex,
(ii) forward to the tenant any initial response by the management company to that complaint, and
(iii) forward to the tenant any statement in writing of the kind referred to in section 187 (2) made by the management company in relation to that complaint.
(2) Subsection (1)(b) does not apply to any repairs that are necessary due to the failure of the tenant to comply with section 16 (f).
(3) The obligation under subsection (1)(c) does not apply at any particular time during the term of the tenancy concerned if, at that time, a policy of insurance of the kind referred to in that provision is not obtainable, or is not obtainable at a reasonable cost, by the landlord in respect of the dwelling.
(4) Subsection (1)(d) applies and has effect subject to the following provisions:
(a) no amount of the deposit concerned shall be required to be returned or repaid if, at the date of the request for return or repayment, there is a default in—
(i) the payment of rent and the amount of rent that is in arrears is equal to or greater than the amount of the deposit, or
(ii) compliance with section 16 (f) and the amount of the costs that would be incurred by the landlord, were he or she to take them, in taking such steps as are reasonable for the purposes of restoring the dwelling to the condition mentioned in section 16 (f) is equal to or greater than the amount of the deposit,
(b) where, at the date of the request for return or repayment, there is a default in the payment of rent or compliance with section 16 (f) and subparagraph (i) or (ii), as the case may be, of paragraph (a) does not apply, then there shall only be required to be returned or repaid under subsection (1)(d) the difference between the amount of rent that is in arrears or, as appropriate, the amount of the costs that would be incurred in taking steps of the kind referred to in paragraph (a)(ii).
(5) For the avoidance of doubt, the condition in subsection (1)(g)(i) is satisfied if, after all reasonable attempts, the landlord or his or her authorised agent could not be contacted to make the request concerned.

In addition to the above obligations, the landlord is also prohibited under section 14 from:

14.—(1) A landlord of a dwelling shall not penalise a tenant for—
(a) referring any dispute between the tenant and the landlord to the Board for resolution under Part 6,
(b) giving evidence in any proceedings under Part 6 to which the landlord is a party (whether the tenant is a party to them or not),
(c) making a complaint to a member of the Garda Síochána or to a public authority in relation to any matter arising out of, or in connection with, the occupation of the dwelling or making an application regarding such a matter to a public authority, or
(d) giving notice of his or her intention to do any or all of the things referred to in the preceding paragraphs.
(2) For the purposes of this section a tenant is penalised if the tenant is subjected to any action that adversely affects his or her enjoying peaceful occupation of the dwelling concerned.
(3) Such action may constitute penalisation even though it consists of steps taken by the landlord in the exercise of any rights conferred on him or her by or under this Act, any other enactment or the lease or tenancy agreement concerned if, having regard to—
(a) the frequency or extent to which the right is exercised in relation to the tenant,
(b) the proximity in time of its being so exercised to the tenant’s doing the relevant thing referred to in subsection (1), and
(c) any other relevant circumstances,
it is a reasonable inference that the action was intended to penalise the tenant for doing that thing.
(4) This section is without prejudice to any other liability (civil or criminal) the landlord may be subject to for doing a thing prohibited by this section.

Tenant’s Obligations

A tenant’s obligations are set out at section 16 of the Act:

16.—In addition to the obligations arising by or under any other enactment, a tenant of a dwelling shall—
(a) pay to the landlord or his or her authorised agent (or any other person where required to do so by any enactment)—
(i) the rent provided for under the tenancy concerned on the date it falls due for payment, and
(ii) where the lease or tenancy agreement provides that any charges or taxes are payable by the tenant, pay those charges or taxes in accordance with the lease or tenancy agreement (unless provision to that effect in the lease or tenancy agreement is unlawful or contravenes any other enactment),
(b) ensure that no act or omission by the tenant results in there not being complied with the obligations of the landlord, under any enactment, in relation to the dwelling or the tenancy (and in particular, the landlord’s obligations under regulations under section 18 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 ),
(c) allow, at reasonable intervals, the landlord, or any person or persons acting on the landlord’s behalf, access to the dwelling (on a date and time agreed in advance with the tenant) for the purposes of inspecting the dwelling,
(d) notify the landlord or his or her authorised agent of any defect that arises in the dwelling that requires to be repaired so as to enable the landlord comply with his or her obligations, in relation to the dwelling or the tenancy, under any enactment,
(e) allow the landlord, or any person or persons acting on the landlord’s behalf, reasonable access to the dwelling for the purposes of allowing any works (the responsibility for the carrying out of which is that of the landlord) to be carried out,
(f) not do any act that would cause a deterioration in the condition the dwelling was in at the commencement of the tenancy, but there shall be disregarded, in determining whether this obligation has been complied with at a particular time, any deterioration in that condition owing to normal wear and tear, that is to say wear and tear that is normal having regard to—
(i) the time that has elapsed from the commencement of the tenancy,
(ii) the extent of occupation of the dwelling the landlord must have reasonably foreseen would occur since that commencement, and
(iii) any other relevant matters,
(g) if paragraph (f) is not complied with, take such steps as the landlord may reasonably require to be taken for the purpose of restoring the dwelling to the condition mentioned in paragraph (f) or to defray any costs incurred by the landlord in his or her taking such steps as are reasonable for that purpose,
(h) not behave within the dwelling, or in the vicinity of it, in a way that is anti-social or allow other occupiers of, or visitors to, the dwelling to behave within it, or in the vicinity of it, in such a way,
(i) not act or allow other occupiers of, or visitors to, the dwelling to act in a way which would result in the invalidation of a policy of insurance in force in relation to the dwelling,
(j) if any act of the tenant’s, or any act of another occupier of, or visitor to, the dwelling which the tenant has allowed to be done, results in an increase in the premium payable under a policy of insurance in force in relation to the dwelling, pay to the landlord an amount equal to the amount of that increase (“the increased element”) (and that obligation to pay such an amount shall apply in respect of each further premium falling due for payment under the policy that includes the increased element),
(k) not assign or sub-let the tenancy without the written consent of the landlord (which consent the landlord may, in his or her discretion, withhold),
(l) not alter or improve the dwelling without the written consent of the landlord which consent the landlord—
(i) in case the alteration or improvement consists only of repairing, painting and decorating, or any of those things, may not unreasonably withhold,
(ii) in any other case, may, in his or her discretion, withhold,
(m) not use the dwelling or cause it to be used for any purpose other than as a dwelling without the written consent of the landlord (which consent the landlord may, in his or her discretion, withhold), and
(n) notify in writing the landlord of the identity of each person (other than a multiple tenant) who, for the time being, resides ordinarily in the dwelling.

Rent/Rent review

Rent may not be set at an amount greater than the market rent for the tenancy in question and any disputes can be referred to the Tenancy Tribunal of the Private Residential Tenancies Board (www.prtb.ie) as per Part 3 of the Act.

Part 4 Tenancy

One of the most important effects of the residential tenancies act is that where a person has been in occupation, under a tenancy, for a continuous period of 6 months then, provided no notice of termination has been served, then the tenancy will continue for 4 years.

This right of the tenant is of huge significance for many landlords and this tenancy is then called a Part 4 tenancy.

Termination of Residential Tenancies

Tenants of fixed term tenancies ie the standard 12 month letting agreement common in Ireland have security of tenure from the word go as a result of their 12 month agreement.

Termination of a Residential Letting by the Landlord

A landlord can terminate a Part 4 tenancy prematurely on one of 6 grounds laid down by the legislation and only then when he serves a notice of termination stating the ground and has served the notice in accordance with the notice periods laid down by the act.

The 6 grounds for premature termination of a Part 4 tenancy by the landlord are

  1. The tenant has failed to comply with their obligations. However the landlord has to notify them of their failure and give them a reasonable time to remedy the failure.
  2. The property is no longer suitable for the tenant.
  3. The landlord intends entering into an agreement within 3 months to sell the property.
  4. The landlord requires the property for his own use or for a family member (but he must specify who he needs it for and for how long)
  5. The landlord intends refurbishing or renovating the property.
  6. The landlord intends changing the use of the property to some other use.

The above grounds are provided for in section 34 of the Residential Tenancies act, 2004.

If the landlord uses one of these grounds dishonestly then the tenant can make a complaint to PRTB and they can award compensation to the tenant.
PRTB awarded over €5,000 to a tenant who had been illegally evicted in Galway in 2006.

Termination of a Residential Letting by the Tenant

The tenant may terminate by giving a notice of termination to the landlord with the required notice period.(Section 36) Unlike the landlord the tenant can bring a Part 4 tenancy to an end without giving a reason.

Section 37 provides for a deemed termination by the tenant:

37.—(1) Subject to subsection (3), a Part 4 tenancy shall be deemed to have been terminated by the tenant on his or her vacating the dwelling if—
(a) before or on or about that vacating, he or she serves a notice of termination in respect of the tenancy that does not give the required period of notice, and
(b) before or on that vacating the rent has fallen into arrears.
(2) Subject to subsection (3), a Part 4 tenancy shall also be deemed to have been terminated by the tenant upon any rent owed by him or her being in arrears for a period of 28 days or more if—
(a) whether before or after the end of that period, the tenant has vacated the dwelling, and
(b) no notice of termination has been served by the tenant in respect of the tenancy.
(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply if the Part 4 tenancy has been sub-let or assigned.
(4) Nothing in the preceding subsections affects the liability of the tenant for rent for the period that would have elapsed had a notice of termination giving the required period of notice been served by him or her.
(5) This section is subject to Chapter 6.

A landlord can terminate a tenanc, provided it is not a fixed term tenancy, within the first 6 months without giving a reason.

However he must give the statutory notice period.

12 Month Fixed Term Tenancy

Where there is a fixed term tenancy, the right to terminate prematurely in this instance is limited to situations where either party is in breach of the agreement or in breach of their statutory obligations.

Landlords need to be careful here as the fixed term tenancy gives more protection to the tenant than they would have if they only had a Part 4 tenancy as this can be terminated in the first 6 months without giving a reason.

Further Part 4 Tenancies

Where a tenancy continues to the end of the 4 years of the part 4 tenancy and neither party serves notice of termination then a further Part 4 tenancy will arise and will last for 4 more years.

Multiple Occupants-Chapter 6

Security of tenure applies to any premises occupied by multiple tenants from the earliest date at which any of them has 6 months occupation clocked up. The rules for multiple occupants are set out in chapter 6 of the Act.

Contracting out

You can not contract out of Part 4 of the act which means no matter what you want to agree with the tenant he has his statutory entitlement to a Part 4 tenancy.

Termination Notices-Part 5

Notice must be served to terminate the agreement in all cases. The periods are different for tenants and landlords and are set out in part 5 of the Act in sections 65, 66, 67. 68, and 69.

A termination notice must

  • Be written
  • Signed by the landlord/tenant
  • Specify the date of service
  • If the tenancy is for more than 6 months state the reason
  • The date of termination

Notice Periods

66.—(1) This section applies where the tenancy is being terminated—
(a) otherwise than by reason of the landlord’s or tenant’s failure to comply with any of the obligations of the tenancy, or
(b) by reason of such a failure but a condition in another section of this Chapter is required to be satisfied if the period of notice provided by that section is to apply and that condition is not satisfied.
(2) Where this section applies the period of notice to be given by the notice of termination is—
(a) in the case of a termination by the landlord, the period mentioned in column (2) of Table 1 to this section opposite the mention of the duration of the tenancy concerned in column (1) of that Table, and
(b) in the case of a termination by the tenant, the period mentioned in column (2) of Table 2 to this section opposite the mention of the duration of the tenancy concerned in column (1) of that Table.
(3) This section is subject to section 69 .
TABLE 1
Termination by Landlord
Duration of Tenancy Notice Period
(1) (2)
Less than 6 months 28 days
6 or more months but less than 1 year 35 days
1 year or more but less than 2 years 42 days
2 years or more but less than 3 years 56 days
3 years or more but less than 4 years 84 days
4 or more years 112 days
TABLE 2
Termination by Tenant
Duration of Tenancy Notice Period
(1) (2)
Less than 6 months 28 days
6 or more months but less than 1 year 35 days
1 year or more but less than 2 years 42 days
2 or more years 56 days

The table above applies where neither  the landlord nor the tenant is in default.

Section 67 deals with notice periods where the tenant is in default; section 68 deals with the landlord being in default.

Where the landlord wants to terminate where the tenant is in breach the period depends on the default-anti social behaviour requires only 7 days notice.

For any other reason the period is 28 days and if it is non payment of rent then the landlord must first notify the tenant in writing that the rent is overdue. He must wait 14 days and then serve the notice of termination of 28 days.

Time limit for disputing a notice of termination

Must be referred to PRTB within 28 days of receipt of the notice.

Tenancy Disputes in Residential Letting Agreements

The tenancy tribunal plays an important role in the resolution of tenancy disputes.

The resolution of tenancy disputes in residential letting agreements is governed by Part 6 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The dispute resolution committee of the PRTB replaces the courts.

The main areas of dispute
are

  • deposit retention
  • illegal evictions
  • invalid notices of termination
  • over-holding
  • rent arrears
  • breaches of obligations
  • anti-social behaviour

A dispute may be referred for Mediation, Adjudication, Tribunal Hearing.

If the dispute is not resolved by mediation or adjudication then it will be referred to a Tenancy Tribunal. The PRTB can refer directly to a tribunal if it chooses.

If mediation takes place and is unsuccessful then it must be referred to a tribunal. A party to a determination can also appeal a decision of an adjudicator to a tenancy tribunal.

Time limits

Generally a tenancy dispute must be referred within 28 days of notice being given which gives rise to the dispute or for example the termination of the tenancy.

The PRTB can refuse to deal with a complaint if it is

1. frivolous/vexatious
2. statute barred in the context of court proceedings
3. concerns a dwelling to which the Residential Tenancies act does not apply.

The PRTB will not deal with a reference to it by an unregistered landlord. However if the landlord registers the tenancy within a reasonable time it may then deal with it (if it chooses)

A tenant can always refer a dispute as the obligation to register the tenancy is the landlord’s.

2 stage procedure

PRTB uses a 2 stage procedure to resolve disputes. The first stage is mediation or adjudication.

The second stage is a public hearing by a tenancy tribunal if not resolved at the first stage.

Mediation

A mediator prepares a report and the PRTB makes a determination order within 7 days which contains the terms of the agreement reached by the parties.
If there is no agreement then the tenancy dispute goes to a tenancy tribunal.

Adjudication

An adjudicator reaches a decision him/herself. The adjudicator prepares a report for PRTB and they then issue a determination order.

This order is binding unless appealed by one or both of the parties to a tenanct tribunal within 21 days. There is a form of cross examination in an adjudication but the adjudicator controls the process.

Tenancy tribunal

A tenancy tribunal deals with

1. disputes referred directly by the PRTB
2. disputes where mediation has not worked
3. where the tenancy dispute is the subject of an appeal from a determination of an adjudicator.

Each party is entitled to be heard,  be represented, give evidence and call witnesses at the hearing. Costs of witnesses or professional representation will not generally be awarded.

Determination Order

PRTB makes this order after receiving a report from

1. a mediator
2. an adjudicator
3. a tenancy tribunal

It is binding when issued. A determination order from a tenancy tribunal determination may be appealed to the High Court within 21 days on a point of law only.
Failure to comply is an offence and the PRTB can prosecute people for failing to comply with a determination order or it can apply to the Circuit court for an order forcing compliance.

If the PRTB prosecutes instead  for failure to comply with a determination order the penalties possible are up to 6 months in jail or a fine up to €3,000 or both.

The resolution of tenancy disputes is an important skill for anybody letting residential property. Legal advice should be obtained if you are in doubt about your rights as a landlord or tenant.

Please use the contact form below if you need legal advice in relation to any aspect of residential letting agreements or need a letting agreement drafted.

Categories
Property Law

The Private Residential Tenancies Board-PRTB

residential-tenancies-board

What is the tenancy registration system?

It is a requirement on all landlords to register details of their tenancies within one month of their commencement on form PRTB1 available from PRTB.

 

The information on the register will be used to provide aggregate data on the private rented sector. Personal details such as the tenant name, landlord name, rent, etc. will not be made public. (See also residential letting agreements in Ireland-an overview)

Tenancy Registration Fees

Fee Payable

€90 Per tenancy being registered on time i.e. within 1 month after the commencement of the tenancy.

€375 for multiple tenancies in the one building being registered at the same time and all on time (i.e. within one month of the commencement of the respective tenancies) by the one landlord (please staple the multiple forms together).

€180 (Late Fee)

In all circumstances where the tenancy is being registered more than 1 month after the commencement of the tenancy, an additional fee of €90 is payable for these late registrations (i.e. the total fee is €180 per tenancy). There are no exceptions to the late fee and the composite fee is not available to late registrations of multiple tenancies within the one building.

No Fee

Where 2 payments in respect of the dwelling have been made to the Private Residential Tenancies Board in the previous 12 months.

No Fee

* The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 does not allow for any exemptions from the requirement to pay the late fee in any case. As such the PRTB has no power to waive the late fee in any case regardless of the circumstances or the reasons for the delay.

Why does the form ask for the PPS numbers and other details?

The PPSN is the State identification number for dealings with public sector bodies. It will act as the unique tenant and landlord identification number on the registration record. Most of the other details are required as a record of the tenancy in case disputes arise or so as to gather aggregated data on the sector. Certain contact details are also requested. This is necessary as the registration application must be made within one month of the commencement of the tenancy and, if later, the landlord will have to pay a double fee (currently €180).

What dwellings are exempt from the tenancy registration system?

  • Business premises, even where partly residential
  • A dwelling to 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) or to which Part II of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 applies (i.e. long occupation equity lease tenancies)
  • A dwelling let by a local authority or voluntary housing body
  • A dwelling occupied under a shared ownership lease
  • 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
  • A dwelling that is occupied rent free

If a dwelling is available for renting but has not yet been let, there is no requirement to register.

Will the PRTB provide confirmation of exemption from the tenancy registration system ?

No, the PRTB will not routinely provide for individuals confirmation of exemptions from the tenancy registration system.

What happens if I don’t register?

Until such time as a tenancy has been entered onto the PRTB’s register of tenancies, the PRTB is precluded from dealing with any dispute relating to the tenancy that may be referred to it by the landlord. The registration requirement applies only to ongoing tenancies so it is important that the registration process be completed as quickly as possible in case any difficulties arise in relation to the tenancy.

What is the PRTB doing about unregistered landlords?

The steps being taken by the PRTB to pursue compliance with the registration requirement are in accordance with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and, in particular, sections 144 and 145.

They include the issue of notices to landlords and/or occupiers of the dwellings in question, and the prosecution of offenders for non-compliance with the registration requirement. Details of these notices are set out below.

Landlord 1st Notice – section 144(2)

Where the landlord’s address is available to the PRTB, a notice is served on the landlord stating that in the PRTB’s opinion there is a tenancy in the dwelling in question that requires to be registered and that an application for registration must be made. The notice requests the landlord to furnish within 14 days the reasons why the landlord may consider that they do not have to register.

Landlord 2nd Notice – section 144(3)

Where the landlord fails to respond to the 1st notice, within the 14 day period or a response was received within the 14 day period which did not result in the PRTB changing their opinion on the registration requirement applying, a notice is served on the landlord stating that the landlord is required to register within 14 days and failure to register within this timeframe will result in the landlord being guilty of an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

Occupier’s Notice – section 145(4)

Where the landlord’s name or address is not supplied, a notice is served on the occupiers requiring them to supply within 14 days any information in their possession that could lead to the PRTB ascertaining the identity of the landlord or of his/her address. That notice also states that failure to respond within the 14 days will result in the occupier being guilty of an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act.

What happens if a landlord or occupier does not comply with the PRTB’s notices about not registering?

If the landlords and occupiers fail to comply with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 as outlined above, the PRTB will exercise the power open to it under the Act in relation to prosecutions.

However this process may take time as in order to maximise success and effective enforcement, it is essential that the information available to the PRTB is accurate and that the PRTB operates in accordance with the appropriate procedures. This is because the successful conviction of the landlord or tenants of criminal offences under sections 144 or 145 respectively requires a high standard of proof and a correct name and address is vital to this process.

Are landlords eligible for tax relief on interest paid on borrowing to purchase investment properties?

Landlords should be aware that the Finance Acts have been amended to explicitly provide that compliance with the registration provisions contained in the Residential Tenancies Act registration provisions is a condition of eligibility for mortgage interest relief on residential properties. It is a matter for individuals to satisfy themselves that they are in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act.

The PRTB will not routinely provide letters confirming exemption from the Act. The PRTB propose to supply the Revenue Commissioners with information on unregistered tenancies of which it becomes aware so that, as well as facing criminal prosecution, the landlords in question will lose any mortgage interest relief relating to the dwelling.

What do I do if my tenant leaves my rented property?

If your tenant(s) leaves the rented property then it is deemed to be the end of the tenancy. You will need to register with the PRTB the new tenancy within one month of the new tenants moving in.

If at least one of the tenants remain in the rented property and the other tenants are replaced by new tenants, then this would be considered an update of the tenancy details.

If there is a change of rent you are required to notify the PRTB and when doing so, you are required to advise of any other change of the tenancy details that have arisen in the interim – no fee is payable when providing an update of tenancy details. The tenancy registration form, which is downloadable from this website, can be used for this purpose also.

I lease my property to a management company who in turn rent out the property to individual tenants; I have no relationship with the tenants of the management company. Do I need to register?

In the above scenario there are two actual tenancies and they both need to be registered. Under the RTA, the landlord is legally obliged to register the tenancy where the dwelling is leased to the management company and the management company is legally obliged to register the tenancy with the individual tenant(s). Each tenancy will then have a unique RT number assigned to it.

The above applies in all arrangements where the dwelling is sublet and is ultimately a residential dwelling other than for those dwellings excluded in Article 3 of the RTA (a list of excluded dwellings)

What happens if I change the Rent?

The landlord must inform the Board of a change in the rent payable in respect of a dwelling within one month of the change occurring.

What happens if one of the tenants moves out and is replaced by a new tenant?

Landlords should at the same time notify the Board of any other change to the registered tenancy details e.g. a replacement tenant. No fee is payable for informing the Board of these changes.

What is duration of the registration?

Once a tenancy is registered it remains a registered tenancy for as long as the tenancy remains in existence. Once the tenancy is terminated, any new tenancy created in respect of the dwelling must be registered with the Board.

Why am I being asked to Re-register my tenancy?

Under the provisions of Part 4 of the Act if the tenancy has not previously been terminated it will be deemed to be terminated when it has lasted 4 years and a new tenancy will then commence between the parties. This new tenancy must be registered with the Board and the registration fee paid.

What do I do if the dwelling ceases to be let?

If the dwelling ceases to be let, the Board should be notified so that the record can be removed from the register – no refund of the registration fee is payable in such circumstances.

Enforcement of registration requirements

The registration of a tenancy is a legal requirement on the landlord. 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.

What is the published register?

The Board maintains a published register, which is available for public inspection at the Board’s office. However, the published register will not contain any information that could lead to the disclosure of the identity of the landlord or tenant(s) or the rent payable.