This includes the address of the accommodation, the names and addresses of the landlord and letting agent, the tenant’s name, the length of the tenancy, the rent and when and how it’s to be paid, details of other charges that aren’t included in the rental fee (e.g. telephone, electricity), the deposit to be paid and the conditions under which it may be returned, the basic rights of the tenant and the landlord, and an inventory of items included with the accommodation.
In accordance with the Housing (Rent Books) Regulations 1993, your landlord must provide you with a rent book or written lease which specifies the above and all rental and other payments must be recorded in the rent book or provided in writing.
With all rental agreements it’s important to establish under what circumstances your landlord may have access to the accommodation and what maintenance or repair costs you’re liable for. Also ensure that you have an emergency contact number for your landlord.
If you require additional information about rented accommodation in Ireland or experience a problem with a landlord, you should contact a Threshold Advice Centre in Cork, Galway or Dublin (Tel. 01-872 6311). Threshold, a voluntary body funded by the Department of the Environment and local government, also publishes various information leaflets to help you find suitable accommodation and avoid the less reputable accommodation agencies.
Rent is usually payable monthly in advance and an initial deposit of one or two months’ rent (one or two weeks’ rent for a weekly tenancy) is also required as security. Landlords can legally raise the rent by as much and as often as they like, unless there’s a specific agreement to the contrary, e.g. in your lease, but you must be given sufficient notice of an increase. This is at least a week for weekly tenancies and at least a month for monthly tenancies.