Rent for first time landlords
Renting out your property can be a daunting task but if you do your homework before listing your property you can help make the entire process painless for both you and your tenants. The great fear when you decide to rent out your property is getting a tenant from hell but with a little bit of information you can save yourself from some of the typical pitfalls.
The price is right
It’s important to determine the rent your property is going for in the current market and not what you would like to get for your house. It is very rare that people will cover their mortgage with the rent they will receive. The market rate depends on location and quality of your property coupled with the availability of similar properties. A property priced incorrectly could be left empty for a prolonged period and that’s an expensive mistake to make.
Placing an advertisement in a local publication or on www.daft.ie is a cost effective way to rent your property. Daft is €45 for a 90 day ad. Those rates have gone up from €20 for an ad that would stay active until the listing was filled. It seems that despite the 125% increase in cost it seems that Daft is still the place to go when looking to rent out your property. The €45 price tag is well worth it when you consider a property that will rent for €600 a month is losing €150 a week sitting empty. Its also a good place to check what similar properties are being listed for to help you judge your market rate correctly.
Their dream home
Before you list your property for rent you should do whatever you can to make it as attractive as possible to prospective tenants. Presenting your property clean and freshly painted is more likely to attract a tenant that will take good care of your property. As a landlord you have minimum standards under the law that your home needs to reach. It must be free from damp and in good structural repair. The home must have both hot and cold running water along with adequate heating or ventilation. Any appliances left in the home must be in good working order and all gas or electrical must be in good working order. A top tip before deciding to rent your property is to remove any appliances which may be close to the end of their life. things like washing machines are not required to be supplied but if they are present they are the responsibility of the landlord and must be replaced when broken.
Checklist for your prospective tenant
- Look for a reference from the previous landlord. If they took good care of that house they are likely to take good care of yours.
- Look for a reference from the tenants employer. Look for whats not being said in these references. The less is said in a reference, the more you should read into it.
- If the prospective tenant is unemployed they could be entitled to a rent supplement from the health service executive. Your rent will have to be below the maximum rent level set for your county by the HSE for tenants to avail of the rent supplement.
- If your tenant is a student you should always look to their parents to sign as guarantors on the lease.
When interviewing your perspective tenant its important to phrase your questions correctly. Equality law prohibits landlords from refusing tenancy on the grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, age, disability, race or membership of the traveling community. If you are informed the prospective tenant is not married and you mention you are looking to rent to a family you are in breach of equality law and you can be brought to court for discrimination. Remember your feedback to answers is not necessary. Keep your questions on point and base your decision on the merits of your prospective tenants.
Take lots of pictures before and lease
Disputes between landlords and tenants tend to be over the retention of a deposit over damage to the house. Protect yourself with photographs of the home and contents before the lease starts. make sure the photos have a digital date on them and back this up with a contents list signed by both landlord and tenant. When sourcing a lease your far safer to contact a local solicitor than taking a template from the internet if you are not confident with contracts. If you make a mistake with the lease then it won’t stand up as a legally binding contract.
Responsibilities as a landlord
- Provide tenants with a rent book.
- Register your rental property with the PRTB (private residential tenancies board). Download PRTB1 form from www.prtb.ie. Make sure the form is filled correctly and submitted with the €70 fee. Contact www.taxpro.ie for further information or assistance with your registration to the PRTB.
- You can’t charge a rent that exceeds the market rate for the property.
- You must provide the tenant with 28 days notice on a rent review.
- You are responsible for repair and maintenance of the structure and the interior to the standard at commencement of the tenancy.
- Reimburse tenants of any costs of repair that should have been carried out by you.
- Notify the tenant of any person that is authorised to deal with the property on your behalf.
- Allow your tenant to enjoy a peaceful and exclusive occupation of the property.
- Inform your tenant of their obligations with regard to the property and ensure they abide by them. Any complaints to the PRTB will be made against you as the property owner.
- Return of deposit unless rent has been unpaid or damage has been done to the property in excess of normal ware and tear.
- Buy rent books from www.treshold.ie for €2 each plus P&P to avoid a €3,000 fine or 6 month prison sentence.
Rights of the landlord
Its not all responsibilities when you are a landlord. You do have some rights.
- Receive correct rent on the correct date
- Receive other charges or taxes as they fall due in accordance to your lease.
- Review the rent annually.
- Refer disputes about the property to the PRTB.
- Receive notification of any repairs necessary.
- Damage caused by the tenant is to be repaired at their expense.
- It is your decision if the tenant can sub-let, alter, improve or change use on the property.
Grounds for termination
- You can terminate any lease shorter than 6 months without reason.
- Your tenants are in breach of your lease.
- You intend to sell the property.
- The property no longer suits the needs of the tenant.
- You require the property for yourself or a family member.
- The house is in need of substantial refurbishment.
- You intend to change the use of the property, e.g. bed and breakfast.
- Tenants can terminate the lease at anytime with the correct notice given.
Renting a property can be a rewarding experience if done correctly. Rental accounts can be a huge pitfall for landlords who are unaware of what they can submit through expenses. Rental accounts can start from as little as €450 & vat with https://www.taxpro.ie. Having your accounts done correctly will save you money.