Tenancy Registration

17 September 2008
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Registration of tenancies

1. What is the tenancy registration system?

It is a requirement on all landlords to register details of their tenancies within one month of their commencement on form PRTB1 available from this website. The information on the register will be used to provide aggregate data on the private rented sector. Personal details such as the tenant name, landlord name, rent, etc. will not be made public.

2. What dwellings are exempt from the tenancy registration system?

  • Business premises, even where partly residential
  • A dwelling to which Part II of the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Act 1982 applies (i.e. formerly rent controlled dwelling occupied by the "original tenant" or his/her spouse) or to which Part II of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 applies (i.e. long occupation equity lease tenancies)
  • A dwelling let by a local authority or voluntary housing body
  • A dwelling occupied under a shared ownership lease
  • A holiday let
  • A dwelling in which the landlord is also resident
  • A dwelling in which the spouse, parent or child of the landlord is resident and there is no written lease or tenancy agreement
  • A dwelling that is occupied rent free If a dwelling is available for renting but has not yet been let, there is no requirement to register.

3. Will the PRTB provide confirmation of exemption from the tenancy registration system ?

No, the PRTB will not routinely provide for individuals confirmation of exemptions from the tenancy registration system.

4. What happens if I don't register?
Until such time as a tenancy has been entered onto the PRTB's register of tenancies, the PRTB is precluded from dealing with any dispute relating to the tenancy that may be referred to it by the landlord. The registration requirement applies only to ongoing tenancies so it is important that the registration process be completed as quickly as possible in case any difficulties arise in relation to the tenancy.

5. What is the PRTB doing about unregistered landlords?
The steps being taken by the PRTB to pursue compliance with the registration requirement are in accordance with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and, in particular, sections 144 and 145. They include the issue of notices to landlords and/or occupiers of the dwellings in question, and the prosecution of offenders for non-compliance with the registration requirement. Details of these notices are set out below.

Landlord 1st Notice - section 144(2)

Where the landlord's address is available to the PRTB, a notice is served on the landlord stating that in the PRTB's opinion there is a tenancy in the dwelling in question that requires to be registered and that an application for registration must be made. The notice requests the landlord to furnish within 14 days the reasons why the landlord may consider that they do not have to register.

Landlord 2nd Notice - section 144(3)

Where the landlord fails to respond to the 1st notice, within the 14 day period or a response was received within the 14 day period which did not result in the PRTB changing their opinion on the registration requirement applying, a notice is served on the landlord stating that the landlord is required to register within 14 days and failure to register within this timeframe will result in the landlord being guilty of an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

Occupier's Notice - section 145(4)

Where the landlord's name or address is not supplied, a notice is served on the occupiers requiring them to supply within 14 days any information in their possession that could lead to the PRTB ascertaining the identity of the landlord or of his/her address. That notice also states that failure to respond within the 14 days will result in the occupier being guilty of an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act.

6. What happens if a landlord or occupier does not comply with the PRTB's notices about not registering?
If the landlords and occupiers fail to comply with the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 as outlined above, the PRTB will exercise the power open to it under the Act in relation to prosecutions. However this process may take time as in order to maximise success and effective enforcement, it is essential that the information available to the PRTB is accurate and that the PRTB operates in accordance with the appropriate procedures. This is because the successful conviction of the landlord or tenants of criminal offences under sections 144 or 145 respectively requires a high standard of proof and a correct name and address is vital to this process.

7. Are landlords eligible for tax relief on interest paid on borrowing to purchase investment properties?

Landlords should be aware that the Finance Acts have been amended to explicitly provide that compliance with the registration provisions contained in the Residential Tenancies Act registration provisions is a condition of eligibility for mortgage interest relief on residential properties. It is a matter for individuals to satisfy themselves that they are in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act. The PRTB will not routinely provide letters confirming exemption from the Act. The PRTB propose to supply the Revenue Commissioners with information on unregistered tenancies of which it becomes aware so that, as well as facing criminal prosecution, the landlords in question will lose any mortgage interest relief relating to the dwelling.

8. Will the PRTB meet with Residents/Community Associations?
Unfortunately, due to the volume of work in the PRTB and the demands on its staff, it is not presently possible to receive deputations from or supply speakers to meetings of Residents Associations, Community Councils, etc. The PRTB hopes to organise one event per annum that would be open to representatives of residents' associations and community groups and any such events will be publicised well in advance on the PRTB website.

9. Why does the form ask for the PPS numbers and other details?
The PPSN is the State identification number for dealings with public sector bodies. It will act as the unique tenant and landlord identification number on the registration record. Most of the other details are required as a record of the tenancy in case disputes arise or so as to gather aggregated data on the sector. Certain contact details are also requested. This is necessary as the registration application must be made within one month of the commencement of the tenancy and, if later, the landlord will have to pay a double fee (currently €140).

10. As a tenant, why have I received a confirmation letter?

The confirmation letter is sent to all tenants as well as landlords acknowledging the registration of the tenancy with the PRTB. Landlords and tenants must quote the registration number given in the letter in any future correspondence with the PRTB.

11. Why have I not received a letter from the PRTB acknowledging my application to register?
Confirmation letters are being issued to landlords and tenants in all registrations processed by the PRTB generally on a 2 weekly basis. However, the registration process can take upwards of 6 weeks depending on the volume of applications on hand at any given time.

12. What do I do with the confirmation letter?

Landlords and tenants must quote the registration number given in the letter in any future correspondence with the PRTB. In addition, landlords may use the confirmation letter as a receipt for payment of the registration fee, where appropriate. Landlords may be requested to provide this confirmation letter to the Revenue Commissioners when seeking mortgage interest relief on residential properties.

13. What do I do if my tenant leaves my rented property?
If your tenant(s) leaves the rented property then it is deemed to be the end of the tenancy. You will need to register with the PRTB the new tenancy within one month of the new tenants moving in. The tenancy registration form is downloadable from this website.

If at least one of the tenants remain in the rented property and the other tenants are replaced by new tenants, then this would be considered an update of the tenancy details. If there is a change of rent you are required to notify the PRTB and when doing so, you are required to advise of any other change of the tenancy details that have arisen in the interim - no fee is payable when providing an update of tenancy details. The tenancy registration form, which is downloadable from this website, can be used for this purpose also.

14. I lease my property to a management company who in turn rent out the property to individual tenants; I have no relationship with the tenants of the management company. Do I need to register?

In the above scenario there are two actual tenancies and they both need to be registered. Under the RTA, the landlord is legally obliged to register the tenancy where the dwelling is leased to the management company and the management company is legally obliged to register the tenancy with the individual tenant(s). Each tenancy will then have a unique RT number assigned to it.

The above applies in all arrangements where the dwelling is sublet and is ultimately a residential dwelling other than for those dwellings excluded in Article 3 of the RTA (a list of excluded dwellings is provided above in Question 2.)