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Tenant Rights

When you are renting it is very important to be aware of your tenant rights as well as obligations.


  • Be Careful. It is important to have a written contract with your landlord as this will clarify the agreement for both you the tenant and the landlord. Remember that if you sign a contract or lease for a certain amount of time, then you are legally committing yourself to paying rent for that time. So unless you’re completely comfortable and happy with the conditions, don’t sign anything.
  • Legally your landlord must give you a rent book or written legal agreement or lease. The rent book keeps a track of all the payments you make throughout the year, i.e. rent/bills and can be extremely useful if problems arise between you and your landlord. If your landlord doesn’t offer you one, ask them for one.  Rent books are also available, free of charge from the Welfare office.
  • Take photos of the house when you move in. So if something is broken, marked or stained before you move in you cannot be blamed for it.  Also take photos when you’re moving out, this can really help when it comes to looking for your full deposit back.
  • Before you hand over any deposit/rent, make sure you check that the house is secure and that locks/windows/smoke alarms etc. are all in working order. Also check if important appliances such as the cooker, washing machine, television etc. are in good working condition. If not tell your landlord and if you are paying rent they should fix it.


Rights of Tenants

  • You have the right to privacy. Once you are living in your new home, the landlord is only allowed to enter with your permission. This means that if the landlord wants to do repairs or check the accommodation, they should arrange a suitable time with you.
  • Accommodation must be fit to live in. The house should be safe and secure, and rodents of any kind, mice/rats or even ants are totally not acceptable so get on to your landlord as soon as possible if these appear.
  •  Rent can only be increased every 2 years as per the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2015.

  •  If something in the house/apartment breaks and is not your fault, the landlord is obliged to repair/replace the item and pay for it.
  • Prompt return of full deposit should be made to the tenant unless rent is owed or there has been damage to the property.
  • All landlords are required by law to register with the Private Tenancies Board (PRTB) - in order to do this, he/she needs the following information from you: your PPS Number and your signature on the registration form. If you are not asked for this information, it’s likely that your tenancy hasn’t been registered. To check if your landlord is registered visit

As with all relationships, it works both ways. The tenant also has obligations to the landlord:

  • Respect the landlord and their property. Remember you are only renting the house/apartment, you do not own it.
  • Pay the rent at the agreed time and in full.
  • Pay any charges, e.g. bin/television license payable by the tenant under the terms of the lease.
  • Respect your neighbours. It’s a lot easier and will be more enjoyable in the long term. A party at 3 am may seem like a good idea at the time, but remember your actions do have consequences. Scaring or upsetting elderly neighbours and children is not exactly cool.  Aim to be a law abiding neighbour.
  • Allow the landlord to access the property for occasional inspections or if repairs are needed.
  • Ask your landlord for permission before making any alterations to the property. Doing simple things like using white tac instead of blue tac, sticky tape or even nails can save a lot of hassle when it comes to moving out and looking for your full deposit back.
  • Keep the house clean and tidy and take the rubbish out weekly. Leaving dishes until the morning may seem easier at the time, but the leftover food will attract unwanted guests. Trust me on this, plus friends are more likely to visit if you have a nice smelling house/apartment.


For more information on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant can be found on

Also take a look at the PRTB website to see if your landlord is registered.

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