18th Jul 2024

We can provide both landlords and tenants with comprehensive, professional and expert advice as regards all leasing situations, in private  residential and commercial contexts.

For the commercial client we can advise on lease negotiation and drafting, lease provisions or clauses, rent review, arbitration and litigation arising from, say, breach of lease, ejectment, eviction or over holding, arrears of rent or the enforcement of covenants to the lease.  This is a particularly specialised area of law and legal advice is almost mandatory.

Please feel free to contact us with any query you may have.

In relation to residential leasing situations the recent Residential Tenancy Act, 2004 has completely changed the legal framework under which both landlords and tenants engage with each other. For the landlords there are strict legal duties imposed on them and some knowledge of the Act is needed as (in addition to their legal duties to the tenant) they are required to register their tenancies with the Private Residential Tenancy Board (PRTB) and ensure basic standards are in place regarding the condition of the properties. 

Here is a quick overview of the Act:

(Part 1) Overview

The Act applies to the private rented sector so it does not apply to:

  • owner-occupied accommodation (where the landlord resides)
  • social housing ( local authority)
  • the formerly rent-controlled sector
  • long occupation equity tenancies
  • business lettings
  • holiday lettings
  • "rent a room" or other arrangements whereby the landlord
    also resides in the dwelling

However, it will apply to rented dwellings where the landlord’s spouse, child or parent is a resident and a lease or written tenancy agreement has been signed with them. The security of tenure provisions do not apply to employment-related and ‘section 50’ student accommodation. 

(Part 2) Tenants Obligations:

  • pay the rent and any other specified charges
  • avoid causing or make good any damage beyond normal wear and tear
  • notify the landlord of any repair requirements
  • allow access for repairs to be carried out and by appointment for routine inspections
  • keep the landlord informed of the identity of the occupants
  • not engage in or allow anti-social behaviour
  • not to act, or allow visitors to act in a way that would invalidate the landlord’s insurance
  • not to cause the landlord to be in breach of statutory obligations
  • not to alter, improve, assign, sub-let or change the use of the dwelling without written consent from the landlord.

Landlords Obligations:·   

  • allow the tenant to enjoy peaceful and exclusive occupation
  • carry out repairs, subject to tenant liability for damage beyond normal wear and tear
  • insure the dwelling, subject to the insurance being available at a reasonable cost
  • provide a point of contact
  • promptly refund deposits unless rent is owing or there is damage beyond normal wear and tear
  • reimburse tenants for expenditure on repairs that were appropriate to the landlord
  • enforce tenant obligations
  • not to penalise tenants for making complaints or taking action to enforce their rights

These respective obligations must be adhered to whether or not there is a lease or written agreement - landlords and tenants cannot contract out of them. Additional obligations, however, can be included in a lease. If the landlord does not enforce the tenant’s obligations, any other person who is adversely affected as a result can bring a complaint to the PTRB about the failure. Prohibited anti-social behaviour includes behaviour that interferes with other people’s peaceful occupation as well as more serious behaviour that causes fear, danger, injury, damage or loss.

(Part 3) Rents

Rent may not be greater than the open market rate and may be reviewed (upward or downward) once a year only unless there has been a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation that warrants a review. Tenants are to be given 28 days notice of new rents. Tenants may ask their landlord to review the rent if they feel it exceeds the market rate for the property - if more than a year has elapsed since the last rent review, tenants may seek a review. Disputes about any aspect of rent may be referred to the PTRB.

(Part 4) Security of Tenure

Security of tenure is based on 4-year cycles from the date Part 4 of the Act comes into force (i.e. 1st September 2004).

The landlord can terminate without specifying grounds during the first 6 months, but once a tenancy has lasted 6 months, the landlord will be able to terminate that tenancy (known as a "Part 4 tenancy") during the following 3 1 /2 years only if any of the following apply;

  • the tenant does not comply with the obligations of the tenancy
  • the dwelling is no longer suited to the occupants accommodation needs (e.g. overcrowded)
  • the landlord intends to sell the dwelling in the next 3 months
  • the landlord requires the dwelling for own or family member occupation
  • the landlord intends to refurbish the dwelling
  • the landlord intends to change the business use of the dwelling.

Tenancy Terminations (Part 5)

Tenancies will be terminated by means of a notice of termination, regardless of why the termination is happening. If the termination is by the landlord and the tenancy has lasted more than 6 months, one of the 6 reasons on the reasons outlined previously must be cited. Tenants do not need to give a reason for terminating.

The notice period to be given depends on the length of the tenancy as follows:Shorter notice periods apply where termination is for non-compliance with tenancy obligations

(i) 7 days for serious anti-social behaviour

(ii) 28 days for other breaches