Landlords frequently employ letting agents to let and in some cases manage their properties. Letting agents are required under law to be licenced and tenants should avoid dealing with unlicensed agents as you may have little recourse if things go wrong, such as a deposit being retained illegally.
Letting agents who are members of a professional body such as the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV) or the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland are obliged under the terms of their membership to hold a current licence and must abide by a code of practice.
It is important to bear in mind that if you need to make a complaint to the Residential Tenancies Board in relation to your tenancy you will need the landlords name and address, even if you have rented the property through a letting agent. Therefore it is always advisable to get the landlord's details at the beginning of your tenancy.
The Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) maintains a list of licensed agents who have agreed to have their details on the register. Many of the listed agents have also signed up to the PSRA's Code of Practice.
What to do
- Only deal with reputable letting agents
- Check the register maintained by the PSRA to see if the agent is licensed
- Check to see if the letting agent is a member of a professional body such as the SCSI or IPAV. Membership of these bodies is usually publically displayed by the agent.
- If you feel that a letting agent has acted unprofessionally or you they have discriminated against you can lodge an objection in the District Court to the renewal of the certificate of qualification
- If you feel the letting agent has discriminated against you, it may be possible for you to refer a dispute to the Workplace Relations Commission.