What is involved in setting up a tenancy?


What to bear in mind before you pay a deposit: 

  • When you rent a property, you will usually have to pay a security deposit. For tenancies created on or after 09 August 2021 a landlord can only require a deposit that is equivalent to one month’s rent.   
  • Normally a deposit is held by the landlord as security to cover any rent arrears, bills owing or damage beyond normal wear and tear at the end of the tenancy.  
  • You should not hand over a deposit to a prospective landlord or agent until you are certain that you are happy with the condition of the property, the terms and conditions of the letting and are willing to rent it. You should avoid paying in cash and always get a receipt.  
  • You should always pay the deposit directly to the landlord/agent and not to another tenant. 

Read more on getting your deposit back from your landlord.

Rent book 

Your landlord is obliged under law to provide you with a rent book. 

The following information is typically contained in a rent book:  

  • The address of the dwelling  
  • Your landlord’s name and address and the landlord’s agent (if any)  
  • Your name  
  • The date the tenancy started  
  • The amount of deposit paid  
  • The amount of rent and how it is to be paid  
  • Details of any other payments for services e.g. for heating or internet  
  • A statement on the basic rights and duties of landlords and tenants  
  • An inventory of furnishings and appliances supplied by the landlord. 

Individual rent books can easily be ordered through the website. The cost of a rent book is €4 including postage and packaging costs. Please ensure you provide your full name and address when making the payment.

All payments must be recorded:  

  • All payments – both rent and other fees (such as utilities) – must either be recorded in the rent book or, if you pay through the bank, by receipt stating the amount, the purpose, the date of the payment, and the period to which it relates.   
  • Where a payment is made by any other method, for example direct debit or online transfer, your landlord must, not more than three months after receipt, either record it in the rent book or provide you with a written statement of the amount, purpose and the date of the payment and the period to which it relates.  

What to do if your landlord refuses to provide you with a rent book? 

  • Inform them of the fact that they are obliged under law to do so.
  • If this does not resolve the matter, Threshold can help you contact your local authority, whose are responsible for ensuring that the Rent Book Regulations are adhered to.  


Before agreeing to rent a property, you should check what additional costs you will be required to pay. In some cases, these may be included in the rent however in most cases they will be the responsibility of the tenant, as the user of the service. In taking on bills it is advised that you:  

  • Get the account set up in your name if possible.  
  • If sharing, clearly agree how everyone will contribute to the bills.  
  • If you are not the account holder, always get a copy of the bill to ensure it is accurate and that you are only paying for what you are responsible and not taking on previous arrears.  
  • Reduce costs by being aware of usage, use more efficient items and use at cheaper rate times.  
  • Suppliers offer a range of payment options including pay as you go chose the one best for you.  
  • Contact the supplier if you have any problems/concerns e.g. overpaying  
  • Shop around periodically for better value.  

Electricity and Gas  

Your landlord has a legal responsibility to ensure that the installations for the supply of electricity and gas are maintained in a good working order. Report all concerns to the landlord immediately.  

To avoid disconnections at the end of a tenancy agree with the landlord the process agreed for transferring the utility bill back into the landlord’s name/name of another tenant.  


If the property operates oil heating, normally as the user of the service, you will have responsibility for filling the tank. Do not allow the oil to go below minimum level required. You may wish to buy oil at times when it is cheaper such as during the summer.  

Report any faults to the landlord immediately.  

You should also clarify if you will be required to fill up the tank before leaving or what will be done if unused oil is left in the tank.  

Refuse Charges  

Your landlord is required by law to provide you with access to suitable and adequate pest and vermin proof refuse storage facilities. The method for storing/collecting your rubbish will depend on where you live and the type of property you are living in.  

Service providers vary across the country but shop around for the best price and service. Check if they provide a waiver or reduced fee if you are in receipt of a social welfare payment or pension.  

TV Licence  

Your landlord does not have to provide you with a TV and if one is provided as part of the letting you, as user of the service you will normally be responsible for the TV licence.  

Check with your landlord if you want to add an aerial/satellite as you need their permission which they cannot unreasonably refuse. You may be liable for any structural repair work caused due to the installation/removal.  In apartments there may be rules prohibiting the installation of satellite dishes.  


There is no legal obligation on your landlord to provide internet access. If it is provided check that it works and that there is good coverage for the area. A tenant cannot alter or improve the property without the landlord’s consent. If internet is not currently installed, you should agree that you can do this with the landlord before agreeing to rent the property.  


Do I have to sign a lease? 

You can read about that here: Sign a Lease.


A list of all furnishings and appliances provided by the landlord will be included either in your rent book, or on your lease  


We recommend that on taking possession of the property, you take photos of the dwelling as evidence to show the conditions when you move in. This is to protect yourself from claims of damage beyond normal wear and tear when you move out again.  


Local Property Tax  

A tenant does not have to pay the local property tax. 

Does your landlord live abroad?

Does your landlord live abroad?

If you live in private rented accommodation and pay your rent directly into your landlord’s bank account and your landlord lives abroad, you are obliged under law to withhold 20% of the rent. You are then required to pay the withheld rent to Revenue Commissioners to settle the landlord’s tax liability.  If you fail to deduct tax from rent that you pay directly to a landlord living outside Ireland, this will mean that you (and not the landlord) will be liable for any tax that should have been deducted.

If, however, your landlord is not resident in the state, but you pay your rent to an agent, there is no requirement to make the deduction.

Please see www.revenue.ie for further information.


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