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.
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.
If you encounter a problem with standards or repairs you cannot withhold the rent as this could put your tenancy at risk.
Minimum Standards Regulations
From 1st July 2017, the standards that private rented property must meet are laid out in The Housing (Standards for Rented Housing) Regulations 2017. Further information may be found in the document 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.
Building Energy Rating (BER)
A BER is a measure of the energy performance of a property. All privately rented properties is required to have a BER Cert.
Timeframes for Repairs and Maintenance
While the Minimum Standards Regulations do not specify timeframes within which a landlord must carry out necessary repairs and maintenance to a rented property, Threshold suggests the following:
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 the same condition as when it was let to you.
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)
Normally it would be you the tenant, as occupier, that would be responsible for dealing with vermin and pests such as bed bugs although your landlord may be liable if they fail to provide storage facilities for waste and ensure that your property is in good structural condition and that external walls do not contain holes or cracks that would allow vermin to enter the property.
What to do
- If repairs are necessary inform your landlord in writing and give them a chance to address the problem. Use the template letters 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 are responsible for ensuring rented property meets minimums standards.
- If the landlord does not carry out the necessary repairs in a reasonable timeframe, you can 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
- For further information on standards see the website of the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government by clicking here
- For tenants renting in the Dublin City Council area click here for more information
- For further information on BER Certs see www.seai.ie
- HSE information of Pest Control