What to Know Before Becoming a Landlord
So you’re thinking of becoming a landlord? Some people are led to believe there is very little work required, needing only to sit at home collecting your rent payments every month with minimal fuss; But don’t be fooled. There may be more to becoming a landlord than you think.
Know Your Responsibilities
As landlord, you have an abundance of responsibilities when it comes to your property and looking after your tenants. These fall under an “implied warranty of habitability”, which means that landlords must keep the home liveable. First steps include registering tenancy with the Residential Tenancy Board here and providing tenants with a rent book in order to document payments made. Another requirement is to make any repairs and maintenance to keep the property in this condition – at no expense to the tenant. Should the tenants pay for any repairs, you are obliged to reimburse them if you did not carry out repairs within a reasonable timeframe. In a scenario where you may be away, you must provide contact details of agents who can deal with tenants on your behalf should emergencies arise. Have a look at rights and obligations as a landlord here.
Understand the Role
Before you assume the role of landlord on one of your properties, take a step back and think about the role itself and what it may entail. Stay organised and keep records of revenue and previous tenants; you never know when you may need them. You will need to be flexible and available to tend to any issues that tenants may have. There can often be repairs that need immediate attention such as a blocked pipe or a broken window. For example, If your tenant has Emergency Home Assistance included in his/her Allianz Home Insurance policy, this can help in some of these emergency situations. You should also be prepared to attempt to maintain a positive, professional relationship with your tenants. You will be their main point of contact for any issues they may have in relation to the tenancy, so make sure to communicate efficiently as required.
Learn about Irish Rental Laws
Once you’ve decided to become a landlord, it is important to familiarise yourself with the state laws and to comply with Irish health and building codes. The main legislation concerning your rights and obligations as a landlord under law can be found here on the Citizens Information website. Your rights as a landlord under the law include but are not limited to the ability to:
- set the rent
- receive rent payment on its due date
- terminate tenancy within the first 6 months without reason
- in some circumstances to terminate a tenancy later than 6 months
- be given reasonable access to the property to carry out repairs
It is also worth noting that you do not have the right to enter your tenant’s home without their permission, take back your property from tenants, or charge more than the market rate for the property despite the price being open to negotiation. A tenant or a landlord can request a rent review, which may result in an increase or a reduction in payments. For example, in areas categorised as rent pressure zones, rent increases have been capped at no more than 4% per year, whilst reviews outside of rent pressure zones cannot exceed market rate in that areas. For more information on rent reviews and increases, take a look here. You also cannot discriminate against tenants due to gender, religion, race, etc. If your tenants have failed to pay rent, there is a two stage process you must follow. First you must give written notice that your tenants are in arrears, and then if the rent remains unpaid after 14 days, you are able to give a minimum of 28 days termination of tenancy.
To learn more, click here.
The Importance of Insurance
It is important to get insurance to help protect yourself financially in case of an unforeseen event. Your standard home insurance policy may not always cover significant risks posed by tenants on your property: loss of rent* and Landlord’s Liability. By purchasing landlord insurance your cover will be more relevant to letting scenarios that you may face. Make sure to add contents cover if you are furnishing the home yourself. A discussion with your insurer will inform you on what level of cover is needed for your situation.
*Loss of rent is covered by Allianz only in the event of an insured cause.
With all of these factors considered, you could be on your way to becoming a successful landlord. Gaining an awareness of your rights and the necessary legislation are some of the important first steps you can take before joining the rental market. To learn more about your rights and obligations as a landlord and where to apply, click here.
This guidance is for general information purposes only. Allianz does not aim to provide legal advice and accepts no responsibility or liability for any losses that may arise from any reliance upon the information contained in this guidance.
Many choices we make in life can require a degree of courage, big or small. Whether it’s the moment you decide to settle down, or take the leap and rent out a property. This is how great things happen and, at Allianz, we are proud to support people who have the courage to go forward in life. Learn more about Allianz Landlord Insurance.
About the author:Market Management
Date:August 09th, 2019