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Private Rented Accommodation

What is private rented accommodation?

Renting is an agreement whereby a payment (rent) is made for the temporary residential use of a property owned by another person or company (the landlord). There is usually a written rental agreement or contract involved to specify the terms of the rental, which are regulated and managed under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

A tenant must pay a regular rent payment to the landlord and in the majority of cases an upfront deposit is required as a form of security payment.

What types of tenancies are there?

Traditionally there have been three types of tenancies in Ireland:

  1. Periodic tenancies: this tenancy can be a weekly or monthly agreement depending on when you pay your rent. There is not a fixed amount of time associated with it. They are usually based on informal agreements between the tenant and the landlord.
  2. Fixed Term tenancies: this type of tenancy is based around a specific period of time set down in a written contract called a lease agreement. It is a legal contract between the tenant and the landlord. The lease sets out the terms of the rental arrangement, e.g. rent amount, term of the agreement, obligations of the tenant and the landlord, what happens if the terms of the agreement are broken.
  3. Rent a room: this is where a tenant rents a room in the landlord’s home, and lives with the landlord. This tenancy is not governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.  

Since September 2004 tenants have greater security of tenure in the private rented sector with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Act and the introduction of ‘Part 4 tenancies’.

Following a six month probationary period you, as the tenant, gain the right to remain in the tenancy for a further three and a half years. After 4 years of your tenancy has passed, a new tenancy starts. The same 4-year cycle can begin again, leading to a further Part 4 tenancy.

The tenancy can be terminated during this four year period.  

Further information on tenancies

Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB)

The PRTB was established in September 2004 to operate a national tenancy registration system. Under legislation, landlords are required to register tenancies with the PRTB.

The PRTB also serves to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. The PRTB dispute resolution service replaces the courts in relation to the majority of landlord and tenant disputes.
Detailed information on the PRTB and private rented tenancies is available at

The PRTB also have a useful guide which provides information on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. This guide is available to download here:


Threshold, the National Housing Organisation, provides further information and advice in relation to the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. Visit for further information.

What if I need help paying my rent?

Rent Supplement

There is financial support available to people who cannot provide for the cost of their accommodation from their own resources. It is payable through the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme -Rent Supplement. It is only provided if the accommodation is suitable for your needs and the rent is below the maximum rent level set for your county. The payment is means tested and if you or another household member is in full-time work, you may not qualify.

In certain cases you may be entitled to assistance with payment of a deposit for rented accommodation under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme Exceptional Needs Payment.

To find out more,contact the Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) at your local health centre for details on the scheme. Visit and for further information.

I am looking to rent in the private rented sector, where do I start?

There are a number of ways to find accommodation available for rent. Websites such as  and  are the main accommodation sourcing websites. Local newspapers are another good source of information.

Threshold, the National Housing Organisation, can advise you in detail of your rights and responsibilities and advise you on all aspects of renting privately. Visit for further information.

Link to the relevant page on the Citizens Information website