LANDLORDS BEWARE… Removing a tenant is not easy! 

Congratulations, you have now become an accidental landlord. 
There are benefits to this, in that, you will have a second income. However, if you are a PAYE earner, as a landlord, you will now also have to make an Income Tax return in relation to the rent received. It doesn’t matter if you know your tenant or indeed your tenant may be a good friend, many a friendship on a soft tenancy have come a cropper in recent years, especially where a tenant who is a friend was on a low rent. You may now be caught, in a rent pressure zone on this low rent, limited to a 4% rise in your rental, regardless of whether or not the market rate is substantially higher. 
 
You may have a tenant who looks good on paper but starts to cause issue in relation to payment or raising other issues with regard to your property. If these queries are not genuine or you have worries that this tenant may not be good for the long term, you have the ability to terminate the tenancy during the first 6 months without giving a reason. But be very careful, you cannot issue a notice to the tenant on the last week of the 6 month period and expect to be able to rely on the 6 months rule. You have to give sufficient notice and that notice must terminate within the first 6 months. So, in reality, you probably only have five months within which to make a final decision on any tenant. 
 
In many cases, a tenant simply rolls over into a new term but if you give notice you will need to look to the Statute, in order to accurately calculate the correct notice period, which is based on the length of time the tenant has been in situ in the property. 
 
Unfortunately, not all tenants leave at the end of a notice period. If a tenant stays on after a notice period this is called an overholding. If this occurs, you need to progress matters with The Residential Tenancies Board and seek a Determination Order for the eviction of the tenant. A Determination Order is not the end of the process. You then need to enforce the Determination Order in court. This can take a significant amount of time. 
If you are thinking about renting out your property in a residential tenancy, you should take the advice of a solicitor prior to putting your house on the market for a tenancy. A solicitor will ensure you have the correct Residential Tenancies Agreement in place, that you are registered with The Residential Tenancies Board or advise you to make sure that you are registered. A solicitor will also advise you on how to terminate a tenancy in the event that it is necessary to do so. 
 
While renting out your property can be somewhat profitable, if you fall foul of any of the strict statutory rules regarding tenancies and the tenant’s rights, you may find yourself not only subject to statutory proceedings but also in the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), facing an action under the Equality Act, especially if you have discriminated against a tenant who has offered the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) as a payment method. 
Please call Marcus Lynch of Marcus Lynch Solicitors on 01 8732134 or contact by email: marcus.lynch@lynchlaw.ie if you have any queries with regard to an existing tenant or you are thinking about placing your property on the market for rent. 
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