Tenancy legislation is rapidly changing, and new legislation is brought in with little notice and receives little press, potentially leaving landlords exposed. In this article we outline some important information you should be aware of to ensure you are fully compliant, including links to relevant information and documents.
Annual Renewal of Registrations
From the 4th April 2022 all tenancies need to be renewed with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) every 12 months, click here for more information. The price of registrations and renews will reduce from €90 to €40. The late fee is no longer limited to €90 but will build at €10 per month so it is vital that you renew each year.
The best way to do this is to open your own RTB account online, link the tenancy with your current RT number from the original letting and set a reminder to renew each year. Click here to open an account
If you cannot find a record of your RT number you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
The legislation around serving a rent increase has changed in recent times. It is no longer valid to simply make a tenant aware the rent will be increasing by writing to them or having a verbal conversation. There is a 7 page notice that needs to be complete, 3 comparables must be attached and a copy of the RPZ calculation needs to be provided. This notice needs to be signed and the original provided to the tenant at least 90 days before the increase is due to start. If the rent increase is not served in the correct format, then the notice will be invalid.
You must also make the RTB aware of the increase of rent within 28 days after the rent increase kicks in by completing and sending a tenancy update form. Without sending this form you are at risk of receiving a sanctions letter from the RTB.
There are a number of minimum standards that landlords must comply with for all rental properties. These minimum standards can change so you must keep up to date and make the changes as they come in.
Any rental property can be inspected by your local authority at any point, so it is important the minimum standards are met.
To ensure your property is being correctly maintained by your tenants, unreported maintenance is brought to light and the tenants are meeting their obligations, it is vital that regular property inspections are completed by the landlord or landlord’s agent. It is recommended that inspections are carried out every 9-12 months. This gives an opportunity to remind tenants of their obligations if they are not fully meeting them, identifying any unreported maintenance so it can be attended to and avoid further deterioration and mitigate the expense.
If a tenant is aware that you will be inspecting the property at regular intervals, then they are less likely to allow the property to deteriorate or try to get away with something they should not be doing e.g. renting out a spare room.
Exemptions to seek market rent
For many years landlords could substantially refurbish a property and then seek market rent. In June 2019 the RTB put a definition on what was considered a substantial refurbishment and under what circumstances an exemption could be granted. It is important that you meet the exemption requirements before completing works or going back to market. A number of landlords have completed works and then found they could only charge the previous rent plus the maximum rent increase allowable as they had not met the criteria for an exemption. This can be extremely frustrating and costly.
If you do not submit an exemption form within 30 days of the new tenancy starting, then the exemption will not be valid and will be open to review by the RTB.
If two or more people rent a property from you under the same tenancy and one tenant wants to move out and replace themselves, it is important that you conduct a lease assignment. If you do not complete a lease assignment you may face problems when you attempt to do a rent increase or serve notice to vacate.
Ending a tenancy
When a tenancy is ending, especially when you intend to do a substantial refurbishment, leave the property vacant for 2 years or move back into the property yourself, it is important that you write to the RTB to end the tenancy. If you do not do this, and then seek an exemption then they may write to you to see why the rent was increased more than the maximum allowable limit.
As you can see from the above, there is a lot of research and ongoing work that is required to ensure you are compliant and running your asset to the best of its ability. The best way to ensure you have all the bases covered is to have your property professionally managed by Herbert & Lansdowne.
We are offering a 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, key holding service, rent collection service, 24 hour emergency maintenance 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.
Herbert & Lansdowne is a Dublin estate agency and property management company that takes the hassle out of managing your properties and ensures you are not exposed.
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