Private Rented Accommodation
How do I find private rented accommodation in Ireland?
You can look for private rented accommodation through local newspapers, real estate agencies or websites for example: www.daft.ie , www.let.ie and www.myhome2let.ie. The quality of rental accommodation can vary so you should view the property before making any tenancy agreement. It is common for people who have not met before to rent a house together and to share the costs of the house, including gas, telephone and electricity bills.
How do I pay for rental accommodation?
You usually pay rent monthly, in advance. An initial deposit of one or two months’ rent is also required.
How much does rental accommodation cost?
Prices of rental accommodation vary depending in what part of Ireland you wish to rent. Dublin is the most expensive place to rent accommodation. The following are average prices in 2012 (excluding bills):
- a three bedroom house from €1,200 per month upwards
- a single room sharing a house with others from €350 per month.
What is a rent book?
A rent book records information about the tenancy agreement and notes all your rent payments to the landlord. It is usually in booklet form. By law you are entitled to a rent book.
Your rent book should contain the following information:
- The address of your accommodation
- Your landlord’s name and address or the landlord’s agent (if any)
- Your name
- The date the tenancy started
- The length of the tenancy
- The amount of deposit paid
- The amount of rent and how it is to be paid
- details of any other payments for services, for example heating, cable television, telephone line
- a statement on the basic rights and duties of landlords and tenants
- a list of furnishings and appliances supplied by the landlord
What is the Private Residential Tenancies Board?
All landlords are required to register with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB). The PRTB also offers a dispute resolution service for landlords and tenants. If you call the PRTB and give them the address of the property they will confirm if it is registered or not.
Private Residential Tenancies Board
PO Box 11884, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01 6350600
Is there tax relief for rent?
If you live in private rented accommodation and you pay income tax (PAYE) in Ireland you may be eligible for tax relief on part of your rent. To apply you must complete Form Rent 1, which is available from your local tax office or from www.revenue.ie.
You must have been renting on or before 7th December 2010 to qualify for this relief. The relief is being phased out and will end in 2017.
What can I do if I have a problem with my accommodation or if I have a dispute with my landlord?
If you cannot resolve the problem directly with your landlord you can contact Threshold.
Threshold provides advisory and advocacy services for tenants and long term solutions for people who are homeless.
Threshold Head Office,
21 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7.
Telephone: 01 6353651
Website: www.threshold.ie – Threshold also has offices in Cork and Galway.
Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS)
What is the Rental Accommodation Scheme?
If you are getting Rent Supplement for more than 18 months you can apply for housing through the Rental Accommodation Scheme.
How does the RAS work?
If you are eligible for the scheme your local authority will rent suitable accommodation from a landlord on your behalf. You will pay your rent to the local authority instead of the landlord. The local authority will pay the rent to the landlord.
What are the benefits of the RAS?
- Deposits are not required because the local authority pays the full rent to the landlord
- You will have long term housing security
- Quality and standard of your private rented accommodation is guaranteed
- If you get a job you can still stay in the scheme but pay more rent.
Local Authority Housing
What is local authority housing?
Local authority housing is housing provided by local government in Ireland. They are the main providers of accommodation for people who need housing and cannot afford to buy their own homes. Local authority housing is also known as Social Housing, Council Housing or Public Housing.
How can I access local authority housing?
You should make your application to your local authority. The local authority must then approve and prioritise the application. This assessment takes into account your income, family size, present accommodation and any special circumstances such as age and disability. You must be resident in Ireland before you will be entitled to make an application. Depending on the area, you may be waiting a number of years before you will be entitled to local authority housing. Waiting lists are long and there is a shortage of available houses. If you voluntarily leave local authority housing in Ireland, Britain or any other country, the authorities in Ireland will be under no obligation to provide you with accommodation.
Do I have to pay for local authority housing?
Yes. The local authority decides on the amount of rent you should pay based on your personal circumstances and income.
Buying a House
How much does it cost to buy a house in Ireland?
Prices vary depending on where the house is located. Useful websites include www.daft.ie and www.myhome.ie. You can also contact real estate agents for house prices: see ‘Auctioneers, Estate Agents and Valuers’ in your Golden Pages telephone directory or go to www.goldenpages.ie.
How do I get a mortgage in Ireland?
You can get a mortgage from banks, building societies or mortgage brokers. Interest rates vary and may be at a fixed or variable rate.
Note: Most lenders will only offer a mortgage if you have Stamp 4 or Stamp 5.
What other costs are involved in buying a house?
Depending on the cost and size of the house you may have to pay tax to the government called Stamp duty. In general, you will also have to pay a solicitor about 1% of the purchase price. You will also need to have home insurance. For more information on the costs of buying a house in Ireland, contact:
The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland
38 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01 6445500
Is there tax relief on mortgage payments?
Yes. Since 1st January 2002, tax relief for home mortgage interest (known as TRS-Tax Relief at Source) is provided by your lender either in the form of a reduced mortgage payment or a credit to your funding account. However, from May 2009 mortgage interest relief only applies to the first seven tax years of your mortgage at the following rates:
If you are a first time buyer:
- 25% for tax years one and two
- 22.5% for tax years three, four and five
- 20% for tax years six and seven
There is a limit of €10,000 if you are single and €20,000 if you are married or widowed.
If you are not a first time buyer:
- 15% of €3000 if you are a single person
- 15% of €6000 if you are married or widowed
Who is a first time buyer?
If you received your tax relief from 2003, you are considered a first time buyer for TRS but if you received your tax relief before 2003 you are no longer considered a first time buyer.
How do I apply for this?
You should register online.
Refuse Collection and Recycling
Local authorities and private waste collectors use wheelie bins or pre-paid bin tags for waste collection. Each household is usually provided with a wheelie bin for general waste and a ‘green bin’ for recycling waste.
Local authorities also have ‘bring banks’ which are collection points where you can bring recyclable materials. For your local bring bank see: www.repak.ie.
Low-income households, in some local authority areas, do not have to pay waste charges to private refuse operators and local authorities. This is called the bin waiver. You should contact your local authority to find out if they operate this waiver scheme.
Safety at home checklist
How can I prevent against a fire in my home?
- Install smoke alarms. In a two storey house, there should be at least 4 smoke alarms
- Plan an evacuation drill so that every member of the household knows what to do in the event of a fire
For a Home Safety Check Sheet look for ‘Fire Safety’ under ‘Local Government’ on www.environ.ie
Who needs a TV licence?
Every household, business or institution in Ireland with a television or equipment capable of receiving a television signal (for example an aerial, satellite dish or cable) must have a television licence.
Where can I buy a TV licence?
You can buy your TV licence from:
- Any Post Office
- A call centre: 1890 228528
For more information you should contact your local TV Licence Records Office.
What happens if I do not have a TV licence?
TV licence inspectors travel throughout the country to check that you have a TV licence. If you do not have a licence you could face a fine of approximately €1000.
Telephone line in your accommodation
There is a telephone line in my accommodation. How do I make sure that the bill is in my name?
If you are renting, the landlord should tell the telephone company that you are the account holder now. The account will be switched to your name and the bill will be issued to you.
There is a telephone line in my accommodation but I do not want a landline. What can I do?
If you are renting you should check with the landlord to see if the account with the telephone company can be cancelled. Otherwise the landlord may tell the telephone company that you are the account holder and you will receive bills for line rental even if you do not make any telephone calls.
If you are homeless you should contact your local authority or call the freephone number 1800 724 724 (in Dublin only) for advice and information on accessing emergency accommodation.
You can also go to Crosscare Housing and Welfare Information for information on centres that provide cheap or free food, shelter and healthcare.
For a map of homeless services in Dublin city go to: http://www.centrecare.ie/Map%20of%20Homeless%20Services%20in%20Dublin.pdf
Other homeless organisations include:
Simon Communities of Ireland: www.simon.ie
9/12 High Street
Telephone: 01 8815900
Note: There is a shortage of beds in homeless shelters so there is no guarantee that you will be accommodated. If you are, you will only be able to stay in this accommodation for 1-2 nights.