Registering a tenancy

Introduction

Landlords (including housing associations and those who let student-specific accommodation) must register residential tenancies with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) and update the RTB if information about the tenancy changes.

The RTB uses this information to maintain a publicly available register. 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 the rent.

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 sets out a new requirement for landlords to register tenancies annually. This requirement is not yet in effect, but is expected to commence in early 2020.

What tenancies must be registered?

The Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2019 apply to most privately rented properties and to properties rented out by housing associations. Under this legislation these properties must be registered with the RTB. The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 also brings student specific accommodation under the remit of the RTB, meaning that student-specific accommodation tenancies must be registered with the RTB.

The Acts do not apply to the following types of rented property:

  • 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 Acts do 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)

Part 4 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (which deals with security of tenure) does not apply to:

  • Employment-related lettings – these are sometimes called ‘tied’ houses as they are tied to the job and you must leave the dwelling when the job ends, and
  • Student-specific accommodation
  • Tenancies in a landlord’s home in a flat or apartment that was originally part of the main house, where the landlord has chosen to opt out of the provisions of Part 4

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 existence for 4 years or more, a new tenancy begins. The landlord must re-register this new tenancy with the RTB. 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 dwelling
  • 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.

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.

Under the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019, 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.

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

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 Employment Affairs and Social Protection and the Revenue Commissioners.

Rates

The rates for registering a tenancy with the RTB differ depending on whether the tenancy is a private rented, AHB or a student-specific accommodation tenancy, see below. The rates for registering a tenancy are due to change in 2020 as part of an annual registration process that is outlined in the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019.

Registration fees for private rented tenancies and AHB tenancies

The basic rate for registering a private rented or AHB tenancy with the RTB is €90 per tenancy. This rate 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 composite fee of €375, if you register on time. If a multiple registration is late, the composite fee no longer applies and a fee of €180 applies for each tenancy.

Registration fees for student-specific accommodation tenancies

The rate for registering a tenancy in student-specific accommodation is €40 in 2019, as registering these tenancies only became a requirement in July 2019. Tenancies that began on or after 15 August 2019 must be registered with the RTB. There is a 4-month transitional period to register these tenancies. Once the transitional period is over 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 composite fee of €170, if you register on time.

Penalties for not registering a tenancy with the RTB

Landlords who fail to register may be fined up to €4,000 and face imprisonment for up to six months on conviction. A further penalty of €250 for each day of non-registration may be levied. 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 apply

You can apply online to register a tenancy. There is a webchat service to help you with this process. If you do not already have an account with the RTB, you will need to create one. Alternatively, you can request a paper application form from the RTB and send the completed form to the address below.

You need to provide detailed information about the property when you register the tenancy (see above). The RTB website has a checklist of the information you need to provide.

Where to apply

To register a tenancy, or for queries about registration:

Residential Tenancies Board

PO Box 47
Clonakilty
Co. Cork
Ireland

Opening Hours: 8.30 am to 6.30 pm
Tel: 0818 303 037 or 00353 766 887 350
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: 9 August 2019