The PRTB was established in September 2004 with the enactment of the 2004 Residential Tenancies Act
Its role is three fold:
1) To set up a register of all private residential tenancies in the state
2) To act as a mediator in disputes between registered landlords and tenants
3) To provide policy advice to the government on the private rented sector
When a new tenancy arises the landlord must complete a registration form from the PRTB giving details of the tenancy. From 15th July 2009 this form no longer requires the signatures of the landlord and tenant. A registration fee of €70 must be paid. If the form is sent in more than one month after the tenancy started the fee increases to €140.
From 1st January 2006, the landlord must be registered with the PRTB to be entitled to deduct interest paid on any loan relating to the purchase/refurbishment of the rented property they are letting out. The PRTB registration fee is an allowable tax expense.
The registration lasts for four years or the cessation of the tenancy if earlier.The landlord can end the tenancy without specifying the reason during the first six months. For the next three years and a half it can only be terminated by the landlord on certain specified grounds. If the tenant intends to remain in occupation after the four year period is up, the tenancy must be re registered. Failure to register a property that is let may be an offence and on conviction the landlord shall be liable for a fine of up to €3,000 and/or up 6 months in jail along with a €250 daily fine for a continuing offence. It is worth restating that if the landlord is not registered, they are not entitled to deduct interest paid on property loans against their rental income.
The following are exempt from registration:
a)Business premises, even where partly residential (to which section 13(1)(a) of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 could apply).
b)A dwelling to which Part II of the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Act 1982 applies (i.e. formerly rent controlled dwelling occupied by the “original tenant” or his/her spouse) or to which Part II of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 applies (i.e. long occupation equity lease tenancies)
c) A dwelling let by a local authority or voluntary housing body
d) A dwelling occupied under a shared ownership lease
e) A holiday let
f) A dwelling in which the landlord is also resident (Rent a room)
g) A dwelling in which the spouse, parent or child of the landlord is resident and there is no written lease or tenancy agreement
h) A dwelling that is occupied rent free
The PRTB hopes to enable online registration in 2010. The registration forms are available to be downloaded from PRTB.ie
Professional advice should be sought before relying on the above outline.