In Ireland, looking for somewhere to live can be difficult. The volume and range of rental accommodation available usually depends on the part of the country you are moving to. Larger cities or towns may offer greater options and price ranges than smaller towns or villages. On the other hand, rental prices outside of larger urban areas are generally lower.
Finding accomodation in Ireland can be very difficult. Indeed, the rental market in Ireland, and more specifically in Dublin, is very limited and very expensive. For instance, the monthly average for a single bedroom in the city centre is €1766 while a triple bedroom is around €3027 on average. If you rather have your own studio apartment the price can be rather high (upwards €4000), but that can come down drastically to prices under €1000. Especially if you’re willing to share a bedroom which is really common in Dublin for approximately €450 per month. Thus, living outside the city centre can be an interesting alternative to not spending the whole budget on rent. However, you must consider the price of the public transport which is really high (€120 monthly).
Landlords may ask for a deposit, which might be a week or month’s rent, but they cannot ask for more than two months. If you are receiving social welfare payments, your Community Welfare Officer may help with paying a deposit, although you may have to pay some of it yourself. Make sure you get a receipt for any deposit you pay. You may lose your deposit if.
- You leave with bills or rent unpaid
- You cause damage to the accommodation beyond normal wear and tear
- You leave without giving proper notice or leave before the end of a fixed term lease
Before you agree to rent
Make sure you can afford the rent being asked. If you will be claiming rent supplements such as Housing Assited Payment (HAP) or Rental Accomandation Scheme (RAS), make sure you know the local maximum rent level allowed by the Health Services Executive (HSE) Area. There are also new rent supplements available to help with Covid-19, such as Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
It is sensible to tell the landlord at this stage that you will be claiming it, since not all landlords will take tenants on rent supplement. Be aware of your rights and your obligations and your landlord’s rights and obligations. Your landlord, for example, is obliged to provide you with a rent book. They are also obliged to ensure that the accommodation meets certain minimum physical standards. They should also register the tenancy with the Private Residential Tenancies Board, an organisation set up by the government to register tenancies and mediate disputes between landlords and tenants. If the landlord wants to give you a fixed term lease of six months or a year, don’t agree to this unless you’re sure you want to stay that long. If you leave before the end of a fixed term lease, you may lose your deposit. You should draw up and agree a list of furnishings and appliances provided, with the landlord. This will help to prevent disputes during your stay and when you are leaving. If there are any signs of damage by previous tenants, make sure this is noted too. This list should be included in the rent book. If there are great repairs, ask the landlord to state in writing that he/she will carry them out.
You may also wish to check out the Building Energy Rating (BER) of the property.
Websites to find accommodation
Nevertheless, you must be really careful and cautious since there are many scams and false ads. Do never give any money without visiting the flat or accommodation.
Rights as a tenant in private rented accommodation:
- You are entitled to quiet and exclusive enjoyment of your home.
- You are entitled to certain minimum standards of accommodation..
- You have the right to contact the landlord or their agent at any reasonable times. You are also entitled to the appropriate contact information you need to do so (telephone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, etc.).
- Your landlord is only allowed to enter your home with your permission. If the landlord needs to carry out repairs or inspect the premises, it should be by prior arrangement, except in an emergency.
- You are entitled to reimbursement for any repairs that you carry out that are the landlords’ responsibility.
- You are entitled to have friends to stay overnight or for short periods, unless specifically forbidden in your tenancy agreement. You must tell your landlord about an extra person moving in.
- You are entitled to a certain amount of notice of the termination of your tenancy.
- You are entitled to refer any disputes to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) without being penalised for doing so
- You have the right to a copy of any register entry held by the PRTB dealing with your tenancy
- You re entitled to know the accommodation’s Building Energy Rating (BER), telling you how energy efficient the home is
Security of tenure
You have the right to security of tenure in six-year cycles under Part 4 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. A tenancy that is guaranteed in this way is called a Part 4 tenancy. If you intend to avail of protection under Part 4 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (e.g. stay in the property for up to four years) you should inform your landlord in writing between 3 and 1 month before the expiry of your fixed-term tenancy of lease agreement.
Obligations of a tenant in private rented accommodation
- Pay your rent on time.
- Keep the property in good order.
- Inform the landlord if repairs are needed and give the landlord access to the property to carry out repairs.
- Give the landlord access (by appointment) for routine inspections.
- Inform the landlord of who is living in the property.
- Avoid causing damage or nuisance.
- Make sure that you do not cause the landlord to be in breach of the law.
- Comply with any special terms in your tenancy agreement, verbal or written.
- Give the landlord the information required to register with the PRTB and sign the registration form when asked to do so.
- Give landlord proper notice if u=you are ending the tenancy
How to apply
If you feel your rights as a tenant have been infringed you have the ability to dispute cases regarding private tenancy agreements at the Private Residential Tenancies Board. There they will provide you with a dispute resolution service for the private rented sector.
If you feel your rights as a local authority tenant have been infringed, you should contact the Housing Department of your local authority.