All landlords have a legal duty to make sure that your home meets certain minimum physical standards.
These standards are set out in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019.
Details of minimum standards
For each apartment, flat or house being rented as a separate unit, the landlord must ensure that the rental property is in a proper state of structural repair. The Regulations require the landlord to maintain the property in a sound state, inside and out. They specify that roofs, roofing tiles, slates, windows, floors, ceilings, walls, stairs, doors, skirting boards, fascias, tiles on any floor, ceiling and wall, gutters, down pipes, fittings, furnishings, gardens and common areas must be maintained in good condition and repair. They must not be defective due to dampness or otherwise.
The landlord must ensure that electricity, oil or gas supplies are safe and in good repair, and that every room has adequate ventilation and both natural and artificial lighting. Suitable safety restrictors must be fitted to windows through which a person could fall.
Main Provisions of the 2019 Regulations:
These regulations specify requirements in relation to:
- Structural Condition
- Sanitary Facilities
- Heating Facilities
- Food Preparation and Storage and Laundry
- Fire Safety
- Gas, Oil and Electricity
The guide to minimum standards in rented accommodation outlines the main features https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/private-rented-housing/minimum-standards/guide-minimum-standards-rented-accommodation-sept
Landlords are obliged to provide tenants with a “rent book” (or other documentation serving the same purpose) at the commencement of a tenancy. This applies to dwellings rented by private landlords, voluntary bodies, local authorities and employers.
Private Rented Sector
Houses, Apartments and flats must be registered by landlords with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB). There are a number of exemptions from this. Further details can be obtained from RTB at RTB, Box 47, Clonakilty, Co Cork or from their website www.rtb.ie
Damage to your possessions
It is important to note that your landlord's responsibilities (to keep the water pipes, for example, in good repair) do not normally cover you for any damage to your possessions (caused by burst pipes, for example) and the landlord's insurance policy is unlikely to cover your personal belongings.
Several insurance companies provide contents insurance for private tenants.
The housing charity Threshold publishes tips for tenants experiencing issues with flooding and burst pipes.
What if my Property does not meet the minimum standards ?
Wicklow County Council is dedicated to improving the living standards of tenants in private rented dwellings. This is done through the inspection of private rented properties by our Inspectors. These inspections are carried out on a proactive basis and in response to complaints from members of the public.
Dealing with Complaints within your private rented home
· If a tenant has a problem with the condition of their rented accommodation, they should in the first instance contact the landlord in order to give the landlord an opportunity to put matters right.
· Tenants have certain responsibilities such as allowing the landlord reasonable access to inspect the property and carry out any necessary works at a mutually acceptable time. If a tenant has notified the landlord regarding the need for repairs, but the problem has not been rectified by the landlord, then the tenant can chose to refer the matter to their local authority for investigation.
· In the event of a complaint about a property you believe to be a private rented property, where you are not the tenant please provide as much information as possible about your complaint or allegation.
You can contact your local authority by email at :
2. When making contact you will need to:
1. Provide your full name, address and telephone/mobile number along with full details of your concerns/query.
2. The name and address and telephone number of your landlord (where appropriate) should also be provided.
Inspections and Enforcement
Local authorities (in their role as housing authorities) are responsible for enforcing these minimum standards.
What if my property does not meet the minimum standards?
Local authorities are responsible for enforcing these minimum standards. This includes inspection of properties.
Failure to comply with the minimum standards can result in penalties and prosecution. Local authorities can issue Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices to landlords who breach the minimum standards regulations.
An Improvement Notice sets out the works that the landlord must carry out to remedy a breach of the regulations.
Where a landlord fails to comply with an Improvement Notice, the inspector may serve a Prohibition Notice and may consider instituting legal proceedings.
There may also be a role for the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), for example, where a landlord is not responding to a request to repair a heating appliance or where a tenant is using the property in such a way as to lead to deterioration in the condition of the property and breach of a standard.
If you are renting accommodation under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, the local authority will inspect your accommodation within the first 8 months of your tenancy.
You can read more information about disputes between landlords and tenants.