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Know Your Rights: Tenants’ rights

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Q: My private rented accommodation is damp and mouldy. Does the landlord have to fix this?

A: Yes, your landlord has a legal duty to make sure that your home meets certain minimum physical standards. This includes keeping it in a proper state of structural repair and free from damp.

Does my landlord have to provide a washing machine?

Yes, your landlord must provide you with access to a washing machine, and a clothes-dryer if your home does not have a private garden or yard.

Some of the other things they must provide include:

* A 4-ring hob with oven and grill
* A cooker hood or extractor fan
* A microwave oven
* A sink with hot and cold water
* A well ventilated bathroom which is in a separate room from the living quarters
* A fixed heating appliance in each room which you can control
* Vermin-proof rubbish storage facilities

Is my landlord responsible if my possessions are damaged because of an issue with the property, for example, if the pipes burst?

While the landlord is responsible for keeping the building in good repair they are not generally responsible for any damage to your possessions. Several insurance companies provide contents insurance for private tenants.

What should I do if my house does not meet the minimum standards?

First speak to your landlord about the problem. Put your complaint in writing and include as many details as possible, including photographs, videos and any receipts for repairs you did at your own expense. If your landlord refuses to carry out the necessary repairs, you should report them to your local authority.
Read more about standards for rented accommodation on citizensinformation.ie.

I am moving out of my rented accommodation, when will I get my deposit back?

If you haven’t broken your tenancy agreement, you should get your deposit back soon after you move out. The landlord may need time to inspect or repair the property. You should expect to get your deposit back within two weeks of moving out, though this is not a legal requirement.

Can my landlord keep my deposit?

Your landlord can only keep your deposit for the following reasons:

* Rent arrears (unpaid or outstanding rent)
* Unpaid bills
* Damage to the property above normal wear and tear
* You did not give adequate notice

What should I do if the landlord tells me they will not return my deposit because the property is damaged?

Your landlord can only keep your deposit if the property is damaged above what is considered normal wear and tear. If you don’t have photos of the property from when you moved in and out, you should ask for photographic evidence of the damage from the landlord. If they say the repairs have been done ask to see the receipts for the work. Keep a record of all your correspondence.

What do I do next if my landlord still won’t return my deposit?

You can make a complaint to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB). The RTB deals with most disputes between landlords and tenants, rather than the courts. You can apply for dispute resolution by mediation on the RTB’s website for free.

Read more about resolving a dispute with your landlord on citizensinformation.ie.

You can call a member of the local Citizens Information Service in Kerry on 0818 07 7860. The telephone lines are staffed from 10am to 4pm from Monday to Friday. The National Phone Service is available on 0818 07 4000 Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm.

Alternatively, you can email on tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie.

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Killarney hotels are still open for business

By Sean Moriarty Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation. […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation.

This week she said that there’s still accommodation to be found in Killarney for visitors.

She was speaking in relation to the current accommodation situation facing International Protection Applicants and Ukrainian war refugees.

She explained that there is a perception that Killarney has taken in too many refugees and that it is putting the tourism industry at risk as people are starting to think that the town is at full capacity.

“If you can’t get a room in Killarney there is something wrong,” she said. “Maybe with the exception of New Year’s Eve.”

She added that hotels that are providing emergency accommodation are helping off-season unemployment.

Many hotels remain in survival mode after two years of pandemic turmoil and the additional off season business is important, she explained.

“Many could be closed at this time of the year, others would not be operating at full capacity,” she added.

However, she warned the Government needs to put a plan in place before the tourism season starts next year. Some hotels offering emergency accommodation either have a three or six month contract.

“I can see there will be tears next April – the Government must have a long-term plan,” she said.

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Homing refugees worth almost €14m

By Sean Moriarty Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees. The Department of Children, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth released figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

Documents show that contracts totalling €13,852,255.00 are being shared between 13 premises in the Killarney urban area.

However, the department warned these figures are “indicative” only and the full value of the contracts depends on “occupancy and actual usage”.

The Eviston Hotel has secured a contract worth €5,727,590.00, the Innisfallen Hotel in Fossa for €2,404,620.00 and The Hotel Killarney signed a deal worth €1,701,000.00. These are the three biggest contracts published in the documentation.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, and Department officials say more contracts could come on stream. Figures seen by the Killarney Advertiser only cover contracted premises up to the end of September this year and updated figures are only released every three months.

“We are in contract with far more, but the formal exchange of contracts can take place sometime after the service commences,” a department spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

“The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is obliged to publish a list of contracts formally signed off each quarter that have been awarded under a special EU Derogation that permits the Department to enter into contracts in the context of the Ukraine accommodation crisis without going to formal tender.

“The values of the contracts shown are estimates; the actual value materialises upon occupancy and actual usage. Standard contracts have no-fault break clauses available to both parties so again, the figures are indicative rather than actual.”

These figures only cover Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war and do not include International Protection Applicants.

The Department refused to release International Protection Applicant figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

“The International Protection Applicant accommodation contract information is commercially sensitive information and is not available,” added the Department spokesperson.

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