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Requirements for landlords under the new Housing Regulations

  • Ireland
  • General


As you may recall, earlier this year, the media reported on the new requirements which landlords would be obliged to meet when letting residential accommodation. The Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017 (the “Regulations”) came into force on 1 July 2017.

What do the Regulations do?

The Regulations impose obligations on landlords in relation to the standard of accommodation to be provided to tenants.

Who do they apply to?

The Regulations apply to all private rented accommodation with the exception of holiday lets (“Dwellings”). The Regulations do not apply to lettings by the HSE or specified approved bodies as defined in the Regulations where communal sanitary, cooking or dining facilities are provided or to housing authorities where the dwelling being let is capable of being moved.

What does this mean for landlords?

Landlords must comply with the minimum requirements contained in the Regulations. These relate to structural condition, provision of sanitary facilities, food preparation and storage, laundry, availability of adequate heating, ventilation and lighting, safety of oil, electricity and gas installations, fire safety and refuse facilities.

Structural condition
The Dwelling must be in “a proper state of structural repair” both internally and externally and must not be defective due to dampness or otherwise.

If there are any window openings through which a person may fall and if the bottom of the opening of such window is more than 1.4 metres above external ground level suitable safety restrictors must be fitted.

Sanitary facilities
Tenants must have access to a water closet with a dedicated sink adjacent to it and a fixed bath or shower. The sink and bath or shower must have a continuous supply of cold water and a facility for the piped supply of hot water.

Food preparation, storage and laundry
All Dwellings must contain a four ring hob with oven and grill, suitable facilities for the effective removal of fumes through a cooker hood or extractor fan, a fridge and freezer or fridge-freezer, a microwave oven, a sink with cold water and piped hot water, suitable presses for food storage, a washing machine or access to a communal washing machine facility. Where the Dwelling does not contain an exclusive garden, a dryer or access to a communal dryer facility must be provided.

Every room, with the exception of a kitchen having a floor area of less than 6.5 square metres, used or intended to be used by a tenant including any bathroom or shower room must contain a permanently fixed appliance for heating. There must also be ventilation for the removal of fumes.

All houses must have suitably located devices for the detection and alarm of carbon monoxide.

Ventilation and lighting
Every room, with the exception of a kitchen having a floor area of less than 6.5 square metres, intended for use by the tenant must have adequate ventilation and adequate natural lighting. Every hall, stairs and landing should have suitable artificial lighting. The window of every room with a bath or shower and a water closet should be suitably and adequately screened to ensure privacy.

Gas, oil and electricity installations
All such installations must be maintained in good repair and safe working order.

Fire safety
Every Dwelling must have a self-contained fire detection and alarm system and a fire blanket. Every self-contained unit in a multi-unit building must contain a suitable fire detection and alarm and an emergency evacuation plan. A suitable fire detection and alarm should also be provided in common areas within any multi-unit building. Emergency lighting must be provided in all common areas within a multi-unit building.

Refuse facilities
The Dwelling must have access to suitable adequate pest and vermin proof refuse storage facilities.

Does a landlord have ongoing obligations?

The simple answer to this is yes. Provision of a Dwelling complying with the Regulations is not sufficient on its own. Landlords must ensure that the Dwelling and all appliances and services to it are maintained and continue to comply with the Regulations throughout the term of the letting.

What happens if a landlord breaches the Regulations?

Failure to comply with the Regulations can result in fines of up to €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both. A landlord who continues to breach the Regulations after a conviction will be guilty of a further offence for every day the breach continues resulting in a fine of up to €400 per day.

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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