It doesn’t matter if the property you rent out is a commercial or a domestic one, you have legal responsibilities to ensure it’s safe for your tenants. It has to be free from damp, in good structural repair, have hot and cold running water, it needs adequate means of heating and ventilation and the electrics and gas need to be in a good state of repair.
The importance of a boiler check
If your rented property looks as though it has been cared for, your tenants are more likely to treat it with the respect it deserves. However, there are more important things to think about, as safety should be your number one priority.
Before anyone moves into your property you should have all the electrics checked to ensure they are in good working order and not likely to break down or cause a fire.
When it comes to the gas in your property, if this is faulty, the tenants could be made ill, or even worse, a fault could be fatal for them. It’s for this reason that all landlords have to arrange a boiler check and service each year and need a certificate to prove it has been done.
A boiler check can only be carried out by a Registered Gas Installer and it’s illegal for anyone else to carry out any required work. The possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning, which is colourless, odourless and tasteless means that only qualified engineers should be dealing with any gas in your property. Large quantities of this gas, which is often referred to as the silent killer, can accumulate if there are blockages, poor ventilation or a fault on an appliance.
Having your boiler check completed by experienced experts is vital for your peace of mind knowing that your tenants are safe.
At the same time as carrying out your boiler check, a qualified engineer will be able to let you know if any of your heating system or other appliances need replacing. This is sometimes the best thing to do, especially when you consider the older equipment gets the more costly it becomes to run.
At GasSafe Engineering we are able to complete your boiler check and assist you with all areas of your heating needs. From servicing to repairs, replacements and new installations, our engineers have the qualifications and experience to deal with them all.
Energy performance certificates
The better your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is the more attractive your property will be to prospective tenants. The energy assessors use government approved software to establish how energy efficient your property is. There are several things that are considered, the heating system and other appliances among them. It looks at the type of construction, if there is double glazing and the efficiency of your gas and electric. If you are arranging for your EPC it is a good idea to have a boiler check before the assessor visits.
No one should think of the certification as a comment on the condition of the property, but a good energy rating is great if you want to rent your premises to someone else.
Your other obligations as a landlord in Dublin
You will have legal duties other than arranging a boiler check and ensuring the electrics are safe. You also have to:
- Not charge rent of more than the market value of the property
- Provide your tenant with a rent book or a statement of rent paid
- You must register residential properties with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB). This involves registering the details of the tenancy using a form that can be downloaded. You also have to say how many bedrooms there are, how many people will be living in the property and provide all the names and details of any agent acting for you. The form also asks the date the tenancy started, how much the rent will be and how often it has to be paid. The form has to be signed by yourself and the tenants. Failure to register can result in a fine of up to 3000 euros plus 250 euros per day if you still fail to fulfil your obligations.
- You should try to give them 90 days’ notice of any increase in the rent, but at least a minimum of 28 days
- Keep the structure of the property in a good state of repair
- Maintain the interior of the property to the standard it was at the start of the tenancy
- Repay the tenant for any bills they have to cover for repairs that should have been carried out by you
- Give the tenant all the information they need if someone else, such as an agent, will be acting on your behalf
- Return any deposit they paid when the leave the property unless there is unpaid rent, or they have caused damage.
- Give them a valid notice of termination when you want them to leave
Tenants have obligations too and it is wise to ensure they are aware of them or complaints can be made to the PRTB. Residential tenants should be allowed to live in peace and commercial tenants should be allowed to run their business without interference.
Is it worth it?
All these legal duties may make you wonder if it’s worth investing in property and becoming a landlord. It’s not as daunting as it sounds, which is why there are so many private landlords in Dublin and the rest of Ireland.
Start with the safety issues such as a boiler check, and all the other things will fall into place. It takes a bit of time and effort to get it all in order, but from the point of view of your gas, we at GasSafe Engineering can take that worry from your shoulders. Just give us a call on 01 969 5219 and leave your gas safety to us. Over a short period you’ll build up reliable contacts like us that take a lot of the stress out of it for you.