How Often Should Landlords in Ireland Paint the House and Is It Their Responsibility?

October 21, 2019

Tenants in Ireland are always wondering what the landlords’ responsibilities are with regard to the house they let. Among the queries are upkeep and repairs, as well as improvements such as painting interior and exterior walls. A useful bit of information to be aware of is which of these tasks are the landlord’s duty and which are the tenant’s responsibility.

Irish Landlord’s Minimum Standards Regulations

Per Irish law, landlords are obligated to do repairs. The minimum standards in Ireland are set out in The Housing Regulations of 2008 and 2009, also called the Standards for Rented Housing. Repairs and maintenance are required to be done in a reasonable timeframe as well. The law is not entirely specific, but timeframes are suggested by the government regulatory website www.Threshold.ie:

• Emergency repairs – need to be carried out as soon as humanly possible because of the risk to loss of life. Emergency repairs are comprised of flooding because of faulty plumbing, faulty wiring or electrical supply, and tiles falling from the roof.

• Urgent repairs – should be done rapidly, within 3-5 days, so that tenants can avoid damaging the rented house. Urgent repairs include shower or cooker, faulty fridge, mould build-up, and heating system malfunctioning (particularly in winter).

• Routine repairs – do not cause major impacts on the daily enjoyment of the premises for the tenant. Routine repairs are repair and replacement of old or broken furniture and poor ventilation that causes condensation. These repairs should be completed within 14 days.

Improvements and Decorations

Landlords are obligated to maintain the interior and exterior of a property they let out in Ireland. Unfortunately for the tenants, they are not strictly required to carry out improvements and decorations. This is why forcing landlords to repaint their properties is a tricky proposition. While a property should be repainted every four years, per www.threshold.ie, this is a guideline and not a legal requirement. The landlord is legally required to carry out repairs, but redecorating and painting is called an improvement and not a repair in Ireland.

Tenant Decorating and Improving Rules and Regulations

For any tenant who decides to shoulder the burden of painting on himself, he should never do it without consulting with the landlord first. The law requires tenants in Ireland to obtain permission in writing from the landlord to redecorate the rented property. The landlord may not deny such a request without good reason, although he or she may insist that their rented property is given back to them in the identical condition as when he or she let it out in the first place.

Who is Responsible for Enforcing the Minimum Standards Legislation?

The local authorities in Ireland have the duty to ensure that rented properties keep up to minimum standards. Should a landlord not be able or willing to carry out needed repairs according to the reasonable timeframe guidelines, tenants are allowed to serve their landlords Notice of Termination documents for failing to meet the obligations outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act of 2004. This should never be done lightly, without first trying to mediate a solution on repairs and maintenance.

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