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Crafted by 4Property.

5 Tips for Landlords

1.  Lease termination & Notice Periods

Gathering contact information from your tenants, such as email and phone number, should be done at the beginning of a tenancy. This will allow for ease of communication between you both should
issues arise or any maintenance needs to be carried out. Likewise, your tenants should be able to contact you should they need to.

When it comes to the time for lease renewal of your property it is in your best interest to communicate this with your tenant well in advance of the date.

If a tenant wishes to stay beyond their lease renewal, they should notify their landlord in advance in writing within the correct time period depending on the length of their tenancy.

Notice periods to end a tenancy agreement for tenants and landlords are as follows:

Length of Tenancy                          Notice Period Required
Less than 6 months90 days
Not less than 6 months but less than 1 year152 days
Not less than 1 year but less than 7 years 180 days
Not less than 7 years but less than 8 years196 days
Not less than 8 years224 days

If a landlord wishes to end a tenancy, they can serve their tenants with a “Notice of Termination” by giving a 28-day notice period in writing. This can be done without giving a reason within the first 6 months of the tenancy.

After 6 months, tenants are protected by “Security of Tenure Rights” and landlords can only terminate a tenancy if the tenant has breached their obligations such as refusing to pay the rent or if both the landlord and tenant have agreed to end it.

Exceptions to security or Tenure rights apply in cases such as student accommodation, transitional housing or when the place of dwelling is within or attached to the landlord’s home.

Similarly, a tenant cannot end a tenancy without notice before the renewal date unless the landlord has breached their obligations or agreed to them doing so.

When a landlord serves or receives a notice for a property, it is beneficial to make the tenants aware of their obligations, how the property should be returned and agree a time and date for key handover. This will reduce any confusion, uncertainty, and potential disputes.

2.  Closure of accounts, inspection and Meter Reading

When a tenant vacates a property, it is their responsibility to pay all outstanding bills for services used during their tenancy. This may include, gas, electricity and waste collection.

On the tenant moving out day, a meter reading should be taken by the landlord or property agency and the results should be communicated to the service provider so that a final bill can be forwarded to the vacating tenant’s new address.

The utilities should be put back in the landlord’s name between tenancies to avoid disconnection and so the exiting tenants receive their final bill.

On the move in day for the next tenant, a new meter reading should again be taken and sent to the service provider along with the new tenant’s contact details so that they can open a new account in their name.

As a landlord you will be charged for the disconnection and the reconnection along with having to arrange a date for reconnection. You will be given a 5 hour slot to wait in the property for the utility company to arrive and reconnect the utilities. This can be frustrating as it costs time, money and can often lead to a delayed move in date for your tenants. 

On the tenant moving out day, a landlord should do an inspection of the property to ensure the tenants have removed their belonging, have not taken your belongings, have left the property clean and free of damage. It is also a good opportunity to identify any improvements that may be required. If damage has been caused during the tenancy, then the cost of repairs will be deducted from the security deposit paid by the tenant at the beginning.

A photographic inventory of items and condition report, which will have been done at the beginning of the tenancy, should be consulted during this inspection to ensure that all items remain in the property and are in good working order.

If it is clear that the property is unclean and will need help from a professional cleaning service to meet the minimum standards for the next tenant, then the cost can be deducted from the security deposit.

3.   Return of keys and Deposits when tenant moving out

Once an inspection has been carried out, a forwarding address for the tenant leaving has been given, everything is believed to be in order and the tenancy agreement has been honoured then a security deposit can be released back to the tenant and all keys, fobs, remotes and permits to the property should be returned to the landlord.

If the landlord is happy that no repairs, replacements or cleaning are needed and all rent has been paid up to date, then they can return the full security deposit to the tenant. This may not happen on the tenant moving out day but should be done promptly not long after that date.

4.   Referrals and References

When a tenant communicates in writing that they do not wish to continue with the tenancy it is a good idea on the landlord’s part to ask them if they are seeking rental accommodation elsewhere. This gives you the opportunity to keep existing tenants should you have further rental properties in other locations or refer them to a friend who may return the favour should you need tenants at another time.

It is also a good idea to ask the vacating tenants if they have anyone they would recommend as new tenants to fill the property.

A tenant may also ask you to provide a reference for their next landlord. If no issues arose during their tenancy and they did not breach their obligations as a tenant, then it is recommended that you provide them with the reference they need.

5.    Getting Ready for New Tenants

Before a new tenant moves in it is a good idea to check if anything needs to be replaced which may have suffered wear and tear during previous tenancies. It is also very important to carry out a fire safety check of the property and ensure that you are still meeting the minimum standards set out by the Residential Tenancies Board.

New tenants should be vetted appropriately. A reference from their previous landlord and current employer should be requested and checked along with a proof of address, photo ID and payslip. You can check on the RTB website whether the proposed new tenant has been part of an RTB hearing in the past. 

A meter reading should be taken on the first day of their tenancy and the photographic inventory of items and condition report should be reviewed.

A list of service providers for heating, gas, oil and waste can be given and the tenants should be reminded to set up accounts to cover costs for each.

 A security deposit should be taken and a new tenancy agreement should be signed by the new tenants. Under recent legislation landlords are only entitled to collect a maximum of 1 month’s rent and 1 month’s deposit.

If there are any additional costs associated with the property, such as maintenance of communal areas or concierge services, then this should be discussed with the tenant before they sign an agreement or pay a deposit.

The deposit should be kept safe and returned to the tenants at the end of the tenancy if they meet all their obligations.

Why it makes sense to use a property management company

There is a lot to take responsibility for when you are renting a property.

All in all, keeping up with payments, maintenance, inspections and the processing of tenancy agreements can become a challenging full-time job.

It makes sense to work with an outsourced property management company who can take charge of the long list of responsibilities and requirements, ensure you are fully protected as a landlord and leave you stress-free with nothing to do but receive your rent.

At Herbert and Lansdowne, we prioritise securing top quality tenants for your property at the highest rent achievable and can ensure that the turn-around between vacating tenants and new tenants is as short as possible.

We handle all aspects of managing a rental property from tenant management, photographic inventory, condition reports and inspections to key holding, maintenance, rent reviews, lease renewals and rent

Our experience will give you the highest level of security as a landlord through our time and date stamped photographic inventory and condition reports, before and after the tenancy along with our guaranteed mid-tenancy inspections that will catch any unreported maintenance, any excessive wear and tear and any tenants not meeting the obligations of their lease agreement. This will help reduce the risk of receiving your property back in poor condition.

We work with landlords every day and can use our wealth of experience to manage everything to do with your property and ensure it is all handled with the utmost professionalism in a timely and comprehensive manner.

We are offering 3-month free trial to all landlords that would like to test drive the management service. Along with the above, there are a lot of additional aspects to the service – point of contact for tenants, arranging maintenance, meeting minimum standard requirements, key holding service and rent collection service to mention but a few.

The cost of our management service is 6% of the monthly rent plus VAT at 23%. Based on a rent
of €1500 plus vat, this would work out at €90 plus vat per month. This is a fully tax-deductible expense and one of the best investments you can make into your rental property. We will ensure that maintenance is complete at competitive rates and rent increases are complete where possible, ensuring your asset is performing to the best of its ability.

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