Sharing with your Landlord/Renting from a Tenant
Sharing with a Landlord
If you share accommodation with the landlord then this is a licence arrangement and the normal landlord and tenant laws do not apply and a licensee will not be able to avail of dispute mechanisms available for tenants. We recommend that both parties still draft an agreement in writing covering the key issues of deposit, rent, bills, house rules and how to end the letting which can be referred to if a dispute arises. Should you encounter difficulties in getting your deposit back at the end of the letting you may be able to refer a case to the small claims court see www.courts.ie for more information.
Renting from a Tenant
If you are renting a room from one of the existing tenants you may also be a licensee and the normal landlord and tenant laws do not apply. After six months however you can apply to become a tenant on the same terms and conditions as the existing tenants. If the landlord refuses you may be able to refer a dispute to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) see www.rtb.ie.
There is little legal protection for licensees for example they do not have to be registered with the RTB, there are no minimum standards, rent book regulations or minimum notice periods required. If there is a dispute it cannot go to the RTB and whilst the small claims court may be an option for getting back a deposit this is not always the case.
Threshold has consistently lobbied for a change to the law to offer protection to licensees and recently worked with University College Cork on this issue. Threshold is seeking legislation to be introduced to cover licensees.
In the meantime Threshold recommends that, where a person is renting where the landlord resides or from another tenant, that a written agreement is made between parties covering key issues such as the deposit, rent, bills and other charges, house rules and notice periods to end the arrangement.
Sharing involves compromise
Many people share private rented accommodation with others which may have the benefit of being cheaper than renting on your own but it will require compromise if everyone is to get along. Most disputes between tenants are not covered by law and can usually be resolved by sitting down and finding a solution. Shared situations do not always work out and if this is the case it may be best to terminate the tenancy and find more suitable alternative accommodation.
What to do
- Only agree to move in to shared accommodation if you are happy with the other tenants and terms and conditions of the tenancy.
- Be careful in signing a lease as you will not only be responsible for yourself but also the other tenants.
- Download the Guide to Sharing document and follow the tips
- If you are involved in a dispute with another tenant and it is not working out it may be best for you to end your tenancy and find more suitable accommodation.