MOVING IN: Starting a Tenancy.

Deposits

There are no legal limits for how much a landlord can request for a deposit, but the norm is the equivalent to one month of rent. You should not part form your deposit unless you are happy with the property and have made sure you are not being scammed!

More info from threshold available here: More information here.

Leases and Tenancy Agreements

Top two facts about leases:

  1. Even if you didn’t sign one, you are entitled to your full rights as a tenant under Irish law. Your lease also cannot infringe upon your rights under Irish law.
  2. If you live in Digs, you’re not entitled to most of the rights of a tenant, so it is extra important that you sign some kind of agreement with your landlord, just so ye both know where you stand!

That said, please check out threshold’s advice page on leases, Here.

If your landlord doesn’t want to sign a lease: that’s dodgy.

If you’re a landlord and you don’t want to sign a lease: that’s dodgy.

Signing a lease makes life so very much less stressful down the line. You’ll have a document to refer to when you have a disagreement between housemates, or between tenant and landlord.

If you are unsure if what’s in your lease is legal or not, please consult Threshold’s wonderful free advice hotline which you can call on 1800 454 454 (Mon-Fri, 9AM-9PM).

When you live in Digs, what you sign might be called a Right to Reside instead of a Lease or Tenancy Agreement

Download our sample Tenancy Agreement here.

Download our sample Right to Reside here.

Doing an Inventory

Much like a lease, an inventory is something simple you can do at the start of a tenancy to make things (for example, getting your deposit back) much easier later on.

Ask your landlord if they have an inventory of the property: what furniture and fixtures are included in the lease, what damage is present, etc.

If the landlord does not have a list like this available, make one yourself! The Residential Tenancy’s Board (RTB) has a sample inventory available to download here.

RTB also recommends taking pictures of the property on the date you move in and sending a copy of these pictures to your landlord.

Both you and your landlord should sign the inventory, to avoid later disputes.

Housemate Agreements

We’ve all heard stories about housemates from hell.

Most of us have experienced a housemate from hell.

And maybe, if we’re really honest, one or two of us have probably been that hellish housemate?

Unlike with tenant-landlord disputes, there are no regulations under Irish law to resolve conflicts between housemates. So, the best way to resolve those issues is to set out an agreement amongst yourselves.

A housemate agreement isn’t an airtight legal document, it won’t completely stop disagreements from happening. But it will really really help in three months’ time when one lad just has not been washing his dishes at all and you’ve completely run out of pots.

Things to include in your housemate agreement:

Rules about guests and parties: Do you have to warn ahead? Who cleans up after a gaffer? What if your guest breaks something?

Food: does everyone have their own cupboard? Is there communal food? Who pays for that?

Cleaning rota for communal areas.

Quiet hours: in case you want to get at least some sleep before that Monday morning 9 am.

Are you responsible for finding someone else to rent your room should you move out early? Are your housemates?

The key thing about a housemate agreement is that everyone has to agree. There’s no point one person laying down the law and the rest of ye ignoring them. Have a housemate meeting the first week you move in. Figure out what you want, get a cheeky takeaway, and talk it all through.

Threshold has a guide to house sharing which you can download here.

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