In Ireland, rented properties must meet certain minimum standards set out in legislation. Landlords must also be aware of their safety responsibilities. The Housing Standards for Rented Accommodation regulations were recently updated, effective 1st May 2019. All rental properties must comply with the standards at the commencement of the tenancy and also during the tenancy.. Failure to comply with the minimum standards can result in penalties and prosecution.
For each unit let or available for letting, as a Landlord you must ensure that the rental property is in a proper state of structural repair. You must maintain the property in a sound state, inside and out. Roofs, slates, windows, floors, ceilings, walls, stairs, doors, skirting boards, fascia’s, tiles on any floor, ceiling and wall, gutters, down pipes, fittings, gardens and common areas must be maintained in good condition and repair.
You must ensure that all gas, oil and electricity installations are maintained in good repair, and safe working order and that every room has adequate ventilation and both natural and artificial lighting.
Suitable safety restrictors must be fitted to windows through which a person could fall.
As a Landlord you must provide:
- A water closet with a dedicated wash hand basin with hot and cold water.
- A separate room, for the exclusive use of each rented unit, with a toilet, a washbasin and a fixed bath or shower with hot and cold water
- A fixed heating appliance in each room, which is capable of providing effective heating and which the tenant can control. Where necessary, suitably located devices for the detection and alarm of carbon monoxide.
- Facilities for cooking and for the hygienic storage of food including, a 4-ring hob with oven and grill, fridge-freezer and microwave oven
- Access to a washing machine.
- Access to a clothes-dryer if the rented unit does not have a private garden or yard.
- A smoke alarm and fire blanket.
- Access to vermin-proof and pest-proof refuse storage facilities.
- In multi-unit buildings, you must provide each unit with a mains-wired smoke alarm; a fire blanket; and an emergency evacuation plan.
- There must also be emergency lighting in common areas.
Please click here for full details on the requirements under the Minimum Standards.
5 Tips to Help Ensure Landlord Compliance with Housing Standards
- Know your obligations, have a copy of the most recent Standards on file.
- Inspect your property twice yearly – (ensure you get consent from tenant). You need to inspect your property regularly. Tenants don’t always know how to carry out basic maintenance on a property, and often won’t tell you about problems until they leave. Regular checks will give you a good idea about the state of your property.
- Bring a copy of standards with you to an inspection – check them against your property one by one.
- Act quickly. Don’t be tempted to let a problem fester in order to save money. It won’t go away and will just end up costing you more. If any item needs addressing, organise a further appointment and action immediately.
- Good communication with your tenant is key. Give tenants reasonable ways to get in touch with you ensuring you are notified and always aware of any maintenance or repair issue.