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Renting a Property and Rental Agreements

Understand what to expect from the tenancy agreement when renting a property in Ireland...

Anyone can rent a property in Ireland as long as they fulfil the landlord's lease requirements. Some landlords may ask for details about employment to ensure that the tenant can pay their rent. Restrictions may apply as to whether pets or smoking are allowed and also whether the property may be decorated or painted.

Rental agreements in Ireland stipulate the amount of rent payable each month, when rent should be paid and what rent includes. For example, whether the agreed rent includes bills (such as electricity and gas) and waste services will be set out in the lease agreement. Most landlords will ask for a deposit (usually a month's rent) plus payment of rent a month in advance.

Rent is normally paid at the beginning of the month. It is advisable to get a receipt for the deposit; this will be returned to the tenant on leaving the property provided there is no damage and no rent is outstanding.

Rent books

Every landlord must provide the tenant with a rent book which details all the payments made. The landlord may ask a tenant to sign a lease as well. This is an agreement between the tenant and landlord which sets out the conditions of the rental agreement.

Details provided in the rent book (or the lease agreement) should include:

  • The landlord's name, address and contact details (or the letting agent's if applicable)
  • The date the tenancy starts
  • The length of the agreed tenancy
  • The amount of rent to be paid each month and how and when it is to be paid
  • The amount of deposit paid
  • Details of any other payments such as heating, electricity and gas
  • The rights and duties of both the landlord and tenant
  • A list of furnishings and appliances in the property

Types of Tenancy

Periodic tenancy: This is a rental agreement that is not for a fixed amount of time, so operates on a weekly or monthly basis. There may or may not be a formal tenancy agreement but the tenant still should be supplied with a rent book. These types of lease are less secure as the landlord is able to increase the rent more regularly than a fixed-term tenancy; however, the rights of the tenant are still protected under the Act and the landlord should still give the tenant four weeks written notice to leave the property.

Fixed term tenancy: These are typically for a period of six to twelve months and the terms of the agreement are usually set out in a the lease or the rent book, which is a legally binding contract. If the rent for a property is over €30,000 a year then the tenant must pay stamp duty on this rent to the Revenue Commissioners. If a lease is signed with others also living in the property, then all those that sign the lease become responsible for the rent. If one person signs the lease on behalf of others, they then become responsible for all the rent for the property.

Part 4 tenancy: After renting a property for six months without the contract being terminated, the tenant can acquire the security of a four year tenure (called a Part 4 tenancy). Once Part 4 tenancy has been acquired, the rental contract can only be terminated by the landlord in certain circumstances. Part 4 tenancies run in four year cycles. A tenant who wants a Part 4 tenancy at the end of a fixed term lease (such as one year) should notify the landlord in writing of their intention to stay (normally between one and three months before the fixed term contract expires). Failure to notify the landlord may incur costs, for example for financial loss that the landlord may incur from not receiving sufficient notification. Those with periodic tenancies can also secure Part 4 tenancies without having to notify the landlord of the intention to stay.

  • For more details about Part 4 tenancies and for a link to a sample letter to request a Part 4 tenancy: Click here
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