Private Rented Accommodation
Where households are renting homes from private individuals there is legislation to protect the tenants and the landlords, and agencies to enforce legislation accordingly.
Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) Control of the private rented sector is primarily the responsibility of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) which was established under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (RTA) in September 2004.
Housing Authorities Housing Authorities are responsible for the enforcement of the Housing Standards for Rented Houses Regulations and the Rent Book Regulations.
2. Registration of Tenancies
Part 7 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 which deals with the registration of tenancies has been in operation since 1st September 2004. Tenancies in private rented residential accommodation must be registered by the landlord with the RTB and a registration fee paid. Landlords no longer register with the Local Authority. Each registration must be renewed after 4 years or once a new tenancy commences. Each application shall be contained in the Register of Tenancies which is maintained by the RTB. Tenancy registration forms and other publications are available on the RTB’s website http://www.rtb.ie/
Certain dwellings are exempt from registration with the RTB. Further information may be obtained direct from the Residential Tenancies Board.
3. Other RTB Services
The RTB operates a national tenancy registration system in addition to offering a dispute and mediation service between landlords and tenants. As part of its remit, the RTB also provides policy advice to the Government on the private rented sector.
Further Information/Advice is available from
Postal Address: Residential Tenancies Board, PO Box 47, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
Telephone Number: 0818 30 30 37 (9:00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday)
Fax Number: 0818 30 30 39
Email Queries: rtb.ie/contact-us
Website Details: www.rtb.ie/
4. Housing Standards
Minimum standards for rental accommodation are prescribed by means of Regulations made under Section 18 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1992, as updated by the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009.
The relevant standards are currently set out under:
- S.I. No. 137/2019 – Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019
The Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations first took effect in their entirety for all newly rented properties being let for the first time from the 1st of February 2009 these regulations have since been updated and the current iteration is Housing (Standards For Rented Houses) Regulations 2019.
The Regulations do not apply to houses let for the purpose of a holiday, Housing Authority demountable houses and communal type accommodation provided by the Health Services Executive and certain approved non-profit or voluntary bodies. Except for Article 8 Food Preparation, Storage and Laundry – the Regulations also apply to houses let by Housing Authorities.
Main Provisions of the 2019 Regulations
These regulations specify requirements in relation to:
- Structural Condition
- Sanitary Facilities
- Heating Facilities
- Food Preparation and Storage and Laundry
- Fire Safety
- Refuse Facilities
- Electricity and Gas
Further information on the relevant legislation may be obtained www.irishstatutebook.ie
Please see with regard to acceptable Window Restrictors: Window-Restrictors.pdf (size 106.7 KB)
5. Inspections of Private Rented Accommodation
Local Authority inspectors are “authorised persons” who are empowered to inspect a private rented house under the legislation. Longford County Council have an active inspections programme ongoing in this area.
Guidelines-for-HAs-in-Implementation-of-Minimum-Standards-in-Rented-Accom..pdf (size 1.6 MB)
6. Enforcement of Housing Standards
All landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that their rented properties comply with the Regulations and responsibility for the enforcement of the Regulations rests with the relevant Local Authority. Landlords failing to comply with their legal obligations in private rented accommodation are liable to be prosecuted, and on conviction, may be subject to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, along with a daily fine of €400 for a continuing offence.
7. Dealing with Complaints
Tenants occupying accommodation not meeting the relevant standards should, in the first instance, contact the landlord to give the landlord an opportunity to put the matter right. If a tenant has notified the landlord regarding the need for repairs, but the problem has not been rectified by the landlord, then the tenant can choose to refer the matter to the Housing Department for investigation. When contacting the Housing Department, the tenant should provide their full name, address, and telephone number/mobile number along with full details of their concerns/query. The name, address and contact details for the landlord should also be provided.
Complaints cannot be dealt with when:
- They are anonymous
- The matter does not relate to housing standards
- There is insufficient information given to investigate
If it is the opinion of the Housing Section that the complaint requires further investigation, then an appointment will be made to inspect the relevant property and further action initiated if warranted.
The Private Rented Inspections Team can be contact by:
Telephone 043 33 43499
In Person/By Post Housing Section, Longford County Council, Town Hall, Market Square, Longford, Co. Longford N39 C5F2
8. Rent Book Regulations
Landlords are obliged to provide tenants with a “rent book” (or other documentation serving the same purpose) at the commencement of a tenancy. This applies to dwellings rented by private landlords, voluntary bodies, local authorities, and employers. The requirement to provide a rent book is set down under:
Housing (Rent Books) Regulations 1993
Housing (Rent Books) Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2004)
Housing (Rent Books) Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2010)
(Made under Section 17) of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992.
Further information on the relevant legislation may be obtained on www.irishstatutebook.ie
9. Notices of Termination
Longford County Council is aware that households in our area may have received a notice of termination from their landlord and may be unsure about what to do.
Anybody who has received a notice of termination and who has no alternative accommodation can contact their local authority.
Longford County Council’s first response will be to support households to try to prevent homelessness.
Where a person or household is eligible for social housing: Longford County Council will assess the availability of social housing properties, provide advice on applying for Choice Based Lettings (where available), or advise the person or household on the level of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) they may be eligible to receive.
In some cases, Longford County Council will assess if the property in which the tenant currently resides is suitable for acquisition if it is being offered for sale and the owner is interested in selling to the local authority. In prioritising properties for acquisition, consideration will be given to aspects such as cost and value, condition of the property, size and suitability for tenants. If there are social housing units available via the local authority or an Approved Housing Body, allocation to these will also be considered.
Where a person or household is not eligible for social housing: Longford County Council can assess and refer households for the Cost Rental Tenant-in-Situ scheme managed by the Housing Agency and provide advice or direct to appropriate services.
The Cost Rental Tenant-in-Situ scheme is available for tenants who are not eligible for social housing and are at risk of homelessness. Local authorities are a first point of contact for this scheme, but it is managed by the Housing Agency. Under the scheme the Housing Agency can purchase a property and rent it to the tenant. Local authorities will undertake an initial assessment of the tenant’s circumstances and refer details to the Housing Agency for consideration, where the tenant is at risk of homelessness and the Cost Rental Tenant-in-Situ scheme applies.
Where a tenant wishes to purchase their home, local authorities can advise and support on the Local Authority Home Loan scheme. We are aware that the Government is examining implementing a ‘right of first refusal’ for tenants to purchase their homes, as well as expanding the First Home shared equity scheme. Longford County Council will be able to provide more information on these when available.
We would like to assure households that emergency accommodation will be a last resort only, where no other appropriate alternative can be identified. Households in emergency accommodation will be supported to access more permanent accommodation.
Longford County Council will continue to deal with notice of termination queries and cases as quickly as possible, while taking account of circulars issued by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Tenants may also wish to contact the Residential Tenancies Board, Threshold or other tenant support services for support and advice on tenant rights.
For further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0433343499