Standards and repairs
Your landlord is required under law to maintain the exterior and interior of a property and to carry out any necessary repairs in a timely fashion ensuring the property meets certain basic minimum standards.
Outside of the minimum standards, there are no legal guidelines as to what should be provided as part of a tenancy but you should be given an inventory of all items provided at the start of your tenancy. These items should be in good working order and fit for purpose.
Where an issue arises, you should contact the landlord or their agent as soon as possible to report the problem. If a landlord fails to act on the request for which they are responsible and you have been in contact several times, you may seek to resolve the issue yourself by paying for the repair or replacement and seek reimbursement from the landlord.
You should keep copies of all correspondence in relation to reporting the problem, take photos if helpful and receipt of any costs incurred.
If your landlord fails to reimburse you, then it may be possible for you to set the cost off against the rent. You should contact Threshold for further advice if considering taking this course of action.
Minimum Standards Regulations
The Housing (Standards for Rented Housing) Regulations 2019 set out the standards your rented home must meet and further information may be found in the documents under Useful Downloads opposite. If you feel your property is below standard and your landlord is failing to carry out repairs for which they are responsible you can report this for free to your local authority. Your local authority is responsible for the inspection and enforcement of minimum standards. Please see the poster attached to report standards issues in Dublin City Council area and for contact details of all local authorities please click here.
You can also bring a complaint to the Residential Tenancies Board that you landlord is in breach of their obligations by failing to adequately maintain the property or carry out essential repairs.
Building Energy Rating (BER)
A BER is a measure of the energy performance of a property. All privately rented properties are required to have a BER Cert. Please click here for more information.
Timeframes for Repairs and Maintenance
The Minimum Standards Regulations do not specify timeframes within which a landlord/agent must carry out necessary repairs and maintenance to a rented property. Threshold suggest some timeframes below which serve as a guideline only. However, it is important to know that it may take longer depending, for example, on a trades’ persons availability, ordering parts/replacements etc.
Emergency: Should be carried out immediately as there is a danger to human life. Examples of emergency repairs are: faulty electricity supply or wiring, flooding in the property due to faulty plumbing, tiles falling off the roof.
Suggested timeframe for the carrying out of emergency repairs: Emergency repairs should be dealt with immediately.
Urgent: These are repairs that need to be carried out quickly to allow the tenant to enjoy their tenancy and to avoid damage to the house. Examples of urgent repairs
are: broken fridge, cooker or shower; heating system not working (particularly in winter), build-up of mould.
Suggested timeframe for urgent repairs: 3-5 days.
Routine: These are medium priority repairs, which do not have significant effect on the day to day enjoyment of the tenancy by the tenant. Examples of routine repairs are: condensation due to insufficient ventilation, furniture needs to be repaired or replaced.
Suggested timeframe for routine repairs: 14 days.
Decoration and Improvements
If you intend to repaint, decorate or repair your rented property you must get the permission of your landlord in writing. Your landlord cannot unreasonably withhold permission but can expect to have the property returned to them in a similar condition as when it was let to you. Landlords are expected to redecorate properties periodically as part of their general duty to adequately maintain a property.
A tenant cannot change the locks. if you are experiencing a problem with someone entering your home without permission contact Threshold for further advice.
Vermin and pests (bed bugs etc)
The responsibility for dealing with vermin or other pests and infestations can either be the tenant’s or the landlord’s responsibility, depending upon whose actions or inactions caused the problem. You may be responsible for dealing with pests such as bed bugs if you introduced them to the property but your landlord may be liable for vermin infestations if they fail to provide adequate storage facilities for waste and ensure that your property is in good structural condition so that external walls do not contain holes or cracks that would allow vermin to enter the property.
What to do
What to do
· If repairs are necessary inform your landlord in writing and give them a chance to address the problem. Use the template letter in the Useful Downloads section on this page.
· If your property does not meet minimum standards, you can make a complaint to your local authority, which is responsible for ensuring rented properties meet minimum standards and/or bring a complaint to the Residential Tenancies Board, who can award compensation.
· If the landlord fails or refuses to carry out the necessary repairs in a reasonable timeframe, you can undertake to have the work done yourself and look to recover the cost from the landlord. You may also serve your landlord with a written notice of termination on the ground of failure of the landlord to meet their obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004-19