You are a landlord if you own land or a building and you have leased it (or part of it) to another person – a tenant. Your main legal rights and obligations as a private landlord derive from landlord and tenant law as well as from any lease or tenancy agreement (written or spoken) between you and your tenant.
The main legislation governing these rights and obligations in private rented accommodation is set down in the Landlord and Tenants Acts 1967–1994 and the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The following is a general overview of your rights, duties and obligations as a landlord. However, if you are renting a room in your home to your tenant you are not covered by landlord and tenant legislation.
Leases or other tenancy agreements cannot take away from your legal rights or from those of your tenants. However, you and your tenant can agree on matters that are not dealt with in law.
The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 (pdf) which was signed into law on 4 December 2015, changes some of the rules in this area. Further details will be available shortly.
You have the right to:
You do not have the right to:
Penalise tenants for bringing a dispute to the PRTB.
As a landlord, you must:
You must also make sure that the tenants meet their obligations. Anyone who is affected by your tenants’ failure to meet their obligations can make a complaint against you to the PRTB. Read more on tenants' obligations here.
As a landlord, you may withhold a deposit (or part of a deposit) only if:
Equality legislation applies to lettings and accommodation. You cannot discriminate against potential tenants on grounds of gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community.
Landlords pay tax on rental income under Revenue's self-assessment system. You are entitled to deduct some expenses from the tax you pay on rental income. Revenue's Guide to Rental Income gives information on the expenses you can claim. If you rent out a room in your home you are exempt from income tax provided the amount of rent does not exceed a certain amount.
If you are living outside Ireland and your tenant pays rent directly to you, the tenant must deduct tax from the gross rent and account for it to Revenue. If the rent is being paid to a collection agent, the agent must account for the tax. Read more in our document on tax issues for tenants.
If the mortgage on the dwelling is in arrears and the mortgage lender has appointed a receiver, your tenants must pay the rent to the receiver, but you remain legally responsible for matters such as returning the tenants’ deposits. The receiver may arrange for repairs to be carried out, but it is unclear whether the receiver is required to do this or whether the receiver takes on any of the responsibilities of a landlord.
Possible changes to the law are being explored in order to provide more clarity in such cases.
Read more in the Residential Tenant’s Guide to Receivership published by Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (formerly the Irish Banking Federation) and in Threshold’s advice on the appointment of receivers.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.