Registering a tenancy

Introduction

Landlords must register residential tenancies with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) and update the RTB if information about a tenancy changes.

The RTB uses this information to keep a public register of tenancies. The register shows the address of the property and the number of bedrooms. It does not show the identity of the landlord or the tenants, or the amount of rent paid.

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 sets out a requirement for tenancies to be registered annually. This is expected to apply from early 2022, but is not yet in effect. When annual registration begins there will be a temporary fee waiver for certain tenancies as set-out in the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2021.

What tenancies must be registered?

Under residential tenancies legislation most privately rented properties must be registered with the RTB. This includes properties rented out by housing associations and student-specific accommodation.

Residential tenancies legislation does not apply to the following types of rented property, so they do not need to register tenancies with the RTB:

  • Business lettings
  • Holiday lettings
  • Formerly rent-controlled properties or long-occupation lease tenancies – separate legislation applies to them
  • Owner-occupied accommodation (for example, if you rent a room in your landlord's home)
  • Properties in which the spouse, parent or child of the landlord lives. This applies to informal family arrangements where there is no tenancy agreement in writing. However, the legislation does cover formal agreements between family members, for example, where a lease has been signed
  • Social housing provided by local authorities (though, as noted above, the voluntary housing sector is included)

Rules

New tenancies must be registered within a month of the start of the tenancy. Landlords are responsible for registration. The tenant must give their details to the landlord, including their Personal Public Service Number (PPS Number).

When a tenancy has been in place for a specific number of years, a new tenancy begins and the landlord must re-register this new tenancy with the RTB. If the tenancy began before 24 December 2016, the landlord must re-register the tenancy after 4 years. However, if the tenancy began after 24 December 2016, the landlord should re-register after 6 years. Read more in our document on security of tenure and on Threshold's website.

Private landlords and housing associations must supply the following information when registering:

  • The address of the rented home
  • The name, address and PPS Number of the landlord (or registered number, if a company)
  • The approved housing body (AHB) number, if a housing association
  • The name and PPS Number of each tenant
  • A description of the property (for example, a 2-reception, 3-bedroom semi-detached house)
  • The date the tenancy started
  • The rent and how often it is paid
  • The local authority area the property is located in
  • The term of the lease if it is a fixed-term lease
  • Whether it is a sub-letting
  • Building Energy Rating (BER) if applicable
  • Details of any management company or authorised agent

Each tenancy is allocated a Registered Tenancy (RT) number. The RTB issues confirmation letters to both the landlord and the tenant, containing this RT number, which must be used in any dealings with the RTB.

The RTB needs additional information when registering student-specific accommodation, so it uses a slightly different process. For more information on registering student-specific accommodation see the RTB’s website.

Changes in rent

If the amount of rent changes, the landlord must tell the RTB of the change within one month. Read more in our document on rent increases.

The RTB can take action (including criminal proceedings) against landlords who do not notify the RTB about changes in rent.

Is my tenancy registered?

You can view the public register to check that your tenancy has been registered. The RTB can take action against landlords who do not register tenancies. Read more on the RTB’s website.

Even if your landlord hasn’t registered your tenancy, you can still use the RTB’s dispute resolution service. Landlords can only use this service if they have registered the tenancy.

Information sharing

The RTB can share information with local authorities, which enforce the regulations relating to standards and rent books. It can also share information with the Department of Social Protection and the Revenue Commissioners.

Registration fees

The fees for registering a tenancy with the RTB are different depending on whether the tenancy is a private rented, AHB or a student-specific accommodation tenancy, see below. These fees are due to change as part of an annual registration process that is outlined in the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019. But, this is not yet in effect.

Registration fees for private rented tenancies and AHB tenancies

The basic fee for registering a private rented or AHB tenancy with the RTB is €90 per tenancy. This applies if the RTB receives the completed application within a month of the start of the tenancy. A late fee of €180 per tenancy applies if an application is received more than a month after the tenancy starts.

The late fee that AHBs pay is calculated differently. It is €20 per month that the registration is late, up to a maximum fee of €240. If you are registering a number of tenancies in the same building at the same time, you can pay a combined fee of €375, if you register on time. If a multiple registration is late, the combined fee no longer applies and a fee of €180 applies for each tenancy.

Registration fees for student-specific accommodation tenancies

The fee for registering a tenancy in student-specific accommodation is €40. Tenancies that began on or after 15 August 2019 must be registered with the RTB. These tenancies must be registered a month after the tenancy starts and there is a late fee of €10 per month for late registrations. If you are registering 5 to 10 student-specific accommodation tenancies in the same building at the same time, you can pay a combined fee of €170, if you register on time.

Penalties for not registering a tenancy with the RTB

Landlords who do not register a tenancy can be fined up to €4,000 and face imprisonment for up to 6 months on conviction. A further penalty of €250 for each day of non-registration can be applied. In addition, the landlord will also have to pay the RTB's legal costs. Read more about these penalties on the RTB’s website.

How to register a tenancy with the RTB

You can register a tenancy online using the RTB’s new online system, which opened on 15 November 2021. You will need to create an RTB online account before you can register a tenancy. When registering a tenancy you will need to provide detailed information about the property (see above). The RTB website has a checklist of the information you need to provide.

You can get information on the RTB’s website about how to set-up a new online account and register a tenancy. If you have questions about the registration process you can also email registrations@rtb.ie.

If you need to create an online account for an approved housing body (AHB) you should contact AHB@rtb.ie. There is different process for registering tenancies in student-specific accommodation. See the RTB’s website for information on how to do this.

Residential Tenancies Board

PO Box 47
Clonakilty
Co. Cork
Ireland

Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm
Tel: 0818 303 037 or 01 702 8100
Fax: 0818 303 039

To access Threshold's housing advice and support services for tenants:

Threshold

21 Stoneybatter
Dublin 7
Ireland

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9.30 am - 5 pm
Tel: 1800 454 454
Fax: (01) 677 2407

Threshold

22 South Mall
Cork
Ireland

Opening Hours: Mon - Fri: 9 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm
Tel: (021) 427 8848
Fax: (021) 480 5111

Threshold

5 Prospect Hill
Galway
Ireland
H91 HC1H

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9.30 am - 5 pm
Tel: (091) 563 080
Fax: (091) 569 273

For information for approved housing bodies:

Irish Council for Social Housing

50 Merrion Square East
Dublin 2
Ireland

Tel: (01) 661 8334
Fax: (01) 661 0320
Page edited: 16 December 2021