What are a landlord’s legal obligations?
The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 sets out basic tenancy obligations for both landlords and tenants.
It is not possible to contract out of these obligations (i.e. the act overrides the terms of any tenancy agreement).
There is however nothing to prevent the parties from agreeing to more
favourable terms for the tenant than those which apply under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.
· The requirement to provide the tenant with a rent book or lease
· To allow the tenant peaceful occupation of the property
· The property must meet certain minimum standards
· To carry out necessary repairs
· Rent can only be reviewed once a year – unless there has been changes or improvements to the property to justify another review
· Tenants are entitled to a minimum of 28 days notice to quit
· Allow the tenant to enjoy peaceful and exclusive occupation
· Carry out repairs, subject to tenant liability for damage beyond normal wear and tear
· Insure the dwelling
· Provide a point of contact for the tenant
· Promptly refund deposits unless rent is owed, or there is damage beyond normal wear and tear
· Reimburse tenants for expenditure on repairs that were appropriate to the landlord.
These respective obligations must be adhered to whether or not there is a lease or written agreement – landlords and tenants cannot contract out of them. Additional obligations, however, can be included in a lease.