How do we get our deposit back? Are we entitled to a longer lease? If I’m letting a flat, what if the rent’s not paid?
Private Residential Tenancies Board Launch €300k Advertising Campaign on Rental Rights
Tuesday 16th June 2015: The Private Residential Tenancies Board, PRTB, have today announced the launch of a €300,000 advertising campaign informing tenants and landlords of their rental rights. The campaign which will run across print, broadcast, online and outdoor media has been developed on the back of recent research* which found that one third of tenants (36%) were not fully aware of their rights as a renter and many landlords are small scale operators with 65% owning just one property and 84% having two or less.
Paudie Coffey, T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Housing, Planning and Co-ordination of Construction 2020 welcomed the launch of the campaign, noting that “the private rented sector is an important element of the housing market, with the proportion of households in the sector almost doubling in the period 2006-2011. This campaign will be vital in raising awareness of the rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants in the sector.”
The Minister highlighted rising rents as an area of concern and noted that “there is currently rent regulation in place, whereby a landlord can increase rent once a year and only within the market rate. The Government currently has the Residential Tenancies Bill before the Seanad, where improvements will be made to further secure tenants’ rights and it is expected that progress will be made on this piece of legislation in the coming weeks.”
The Minister praised the work of the PRTB in developing the campaign noting that “building awareness of the PRTB’s role in providing a timely and cost effective dispute resolution service is of benefit to both landlords and tenants. The promotion of a co-operative relationship between stakeholders is vital to the success of the sector.”
“Conscious of the growth and pressures on the private rental sector and the lack of awareness around rights that exists we developed this advertising campaign to focus directly on raising awareness of the rental rights of both tenants and landlord”, commented Anne Marie Caulfield, PRTB Director. “For example, many tenants do not realise that they may be entitled to continue to rent the property they are currently living in for up to four years, even if they signed a shorter lease; or they don’t always know what the correct notice periods are for the termination of their tenancy. In a market with rising rents, it is also important that both landlords and tenants know it is not permissible to charge more than the market rent, and rents can only be increased once in a 12 month period.”
There are currently 303,574 tenancies registered with the PRTB, with one in five, or 20% of households, now living in the private rented sector. With a very diverse client base in terms of age, background and nationality of both renters and landlords, this new campaign seeks to ask a wide range of questions around rental rights, with the answers being found at www.prtb.ie. The online ads will also be translated into Polish, Lithuanian, Cantonese, Somali, Portuguese and French.
- My landlord wants to raise the rent twice this year. Can he do that?
- How do we get our deposit back?
- If I disagree with my tenants, who can mediate between us?
- If I’m renting for 6 months, how much longer can I stay?
- If I’m letting a flat, what if the rent’s not paid?
- Can we find out our rental rights without paying legal fees?
- Are we entitled to a longer lease?
The PRTB website, www.prtb.ie, has extensive information for both tenants and landlords explaining what their rights and obligations are. “I would encourage anyone who is currently renting, or considering renting, to log on to our website and familiarise themselves with their rights and their responsibilities. They can also download a copy of the “Good Tenant, Good Landlord” leaflet which contains all the information in one handy place and has been translated into Chinese, Slovakian, French, Lithuanian, Irish, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian and Latvian”, Ms. Caulfield added.
The first phase of the advertising campaign commences this week, with the second phase running in August to coincide with the CAO results, aiming to assist young students leaving home for the first time. The campaign has been developed by Javelin, who were appointed after a public tender competition.
About the PRTB and the Private Rented Residential Market
The Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) was established in 2004 to operate a national tenancy registration system and to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. It also provides policy advice to the Government on the private rented sector, and its dispute resolution service replaces the courts in relation to the majority of landlord and tenant disputes. According to the 2011 Census, nearly 1 in 5 households in the country are renting their accommodation in the private sector.
* The PRTB commissioned RED C to carry out a nationwide survey of Landlords, Tenants and Estate Agents. The survey results were published in October 2014.