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Landlords’ rights and obligations


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.

Landlord and tenant law

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.

New legislation

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.

Rights as a landlord

You have the right to:

  • Set the rent (although the rent cannot be more than the current market rate rate – see our document on rent increases
  • Receive the correct rent on the date it is due – but see 'Private tenancies and receivership' below
  • Receive any charges associated with the property (this means taxes and duties or payments)
  • Review the rent annually
  • Terminate a tenancy during the first 6 months without giving a reason
  • Be informed about who is ordinarily living in the property (this does not include overnight visitors or short stays)
  • Decide whether to allow the tenant to sub-let or assign a tenancy (however, if you refuse to allow a tenant to assign or sublet a tenancy, this refusal can gives the tenant the right to terminate a fixed-term tenancy before its expiry date)
  • Be informed of any repairs needed
  • Be given reasonable access to the property to carry out repairs
  • Refer disputes to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB)) – but only if you have fulfilled your obligation to register the tenancy - see below

You do not have the right to:

  • Enter your tenants’ home without permission
  • Take or retain your tenants’ property – even if they haven’t paid the rent
  • Charge more than the market rate for the property

Penalise tenants for bringing a dispute to the PRTB.

Obligations of a landlord

As a landlord, you must:

  • Provide a a Building Energy Rating (BER) for the property
  • Register the tenancy with the PRTB
  • Provide your tenant with a rent book or statement of rent paid
  • Make sure that the property meets certain minimum standards
  • Repair and maintain the interior of the property to the standard it was in at the start of the tenancy
  • Repair and maintain the structure of the property
  • Reimburse tenants for any repairs they carry out which are your responsibility
  • Insure the property (if it is impossible to get insurance, or if the cost is unreasonable, this obligation doesn’t apply)
  • Provide the tenant with information about any agents who are authorised to deal on your behalf (such as management companies, agencies, personal representatives)
  • Ensure the tenant knows how to contact you (or your agent)
  • Give tenants 28 days notice of a rent review
  • Provide tenants with a valid notice of termination (in writing) if terminating the tenancy. Read more information on termination here.
  • Return deposits to the tenants (unless they have not paid the rent or have damaged the dwelling)

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:

  • The tenant has not given you proper notice when leaving
  • You have been left with outstanding bills (for electricity, gas etc.) or rent
  • The tenant has caused damage beyond normal wear and tear

Refusal to grant a tenancy

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.

Taxation issues

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.

Private tenancies and receivership

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.

Where to apply

To register a tenancy or to resolve a dispute with your tenants, contact:

Residential Tenancies Board

PO Box 47
Co. Cork

Tel: 0818 30 30 37
Fax: 0818 30 30 39

Page edited: 4 December 2015


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Related Documents

  • Tenants’ rights and obligations
    The main rights and responsibilities of tenants in private rented accommodation derive from landlord and tenant law as well as from any written or oral tenancy agreement.
  • Resolving disputes between landlords and tenants
    The Residential Tenancies Board provides a dispute resolution service for landlords and tenants in private rented accommodation and housing association tenancies.
  • Renting out a room in your home
    Rent-a-room relief makes it possible to earn tax-free rental income when you rent out a room in your home to private tenants.

Contact Us

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.