Just like tenants, landlords like you also have rights. Being armed with this information is akin to protecting yourself. Should issues arise during the tenancy, you’d know what you are legally allowed to do.
In our previous blog, we’ve talked about two landlord rights – the right to set the rental price and to be informed about the name of each tenant. So, what are the other rights you have as a rental property owner?
You are allowed to terminate a tenancy. However, there are certain factors you have to consider and laws you need to abide by.
In a tenancy where there is no fixed term lease in place, you can terminate the tenancy within the first 6 months without giving a reason. But you are obligated to inform your tenant in writing at least 28 days before ending the tenancy.
If you are ending it because of the lessee’s unpleasant or threatening behaviour, the minimum notice period allowed is 7 days.
On the other hand, in a fixed-term tenancy, termination is only possible in cases wherein:
- occupant breached their responsibilities
- house no longer meets the needs of the tenant
- need the house for personal use
- want to sell the property
- intend to refurbish the property
- change the use of the property (turning it into office space)
It should be noted that ending the tenancy isn’t the first course of action you should take when your tenant fails to live up to his obligations. Termination should instead be the last resort – something you should do after giving the tenant ample time to fix the issue.
What does “house no longer meets the needs of the tenant”? A good example here is when the tenant’s family grows. Say from a family of 3 they’ve become a family of 4 but your property is only good for 3 people.
If you are no longer letting your house because it is going to be used by a family member, the written notice should contain the following details: identity of the intended occupant, relationship with you (the landlord) and the length of stay.
Meanwhile, if you are selling, refurbishing or changing the use of the property, this should be stated in the notice of termination. When renovating or converting the house, you are required to provide information like the name of the contractor, work to be done, schedule, etc. Other documents you have to provide include planning permission and a certificate stating that the work to be done on the property can endanger the safety of the occupants if they stay.
Be Informed About Repairs Needed
During the tenancy, the responsibility of fixing property issues like a leaky roof falls on landlords like you. The law requires you to maintain the property – ensure that its state is the same at the beginning of the tenancy.
However, you cannot schedule any repair work if you are informed about the problem. You also must be given access to the property to fix the issue.
Even if you are the landlord, you cannot enter the property to do repairs without the tenant’s permission. So, you have to coordinate with the occupants regarding the schedule of the inspection or repair work.
You should also be given a reasonable time to fix the problem. But it is in your best interest to attend to the issue ASAP, especially if it endangers the safety of your tenant.
If your lessee gets into an accident because you haven’t done the needed repair work (after being informed), they can go after you for negligence.
Lastly, in case your tenant fixed the problem, you are required to reimburse him for it.
Refer Disputes to RTB
It is not unusual for landlords and tenants to encounter problems during the tenancy. If this happens to you, please know that it is best to do what you can to settle the issue informally. However, if you cannot come to a resolution, having a mediator might help. This is where the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) come in.
The RTB offers what’s called a dispute resolutions service. However, only landlords who have registered their tenancy can avail of this service.
The goal of the RTB is help landlords and tenants resolve issues in a simple and inexpensive manner. Mediation is offered for free. However, if adjudication is your chosen option to settle the dispute, you’d have to pay a minimal fee.
What types of disputes can be referred to the RTB? Some of the issues they tackle are tenancy termination, breaches of obligations, neighbour complaints, payments and deposits, amongst others.
Please note that you can only refer some issues to the RTB within a specific period. For example, if the issue is about a notice of termination, it should be referred to the RTB within 28 days of receiving the formal notification.
Undeniably, the RTB can make dispute resolution less stressful. But you won’t have to get their service if you know your rights and responsibilities are as a landlord. Reports indicate that most disputes between landlords and tenants stem from not knowing what their rights or obligations are.
Planning to let your house in Ireland? Work with our property managers to ensure the success of your rental home. Call us today on 01 495 9020!