The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has said that many of the disputes which arise between tenants and landlords are often due to the fact that the parties involved are not fully aware of their rights and responsibilities.
The SCSI said this was particularly true of people who were renting a property for the first time, particularly students.
 
To address this issue from the tenants’ perspective the society has launched a ‘Tenants Guide to Renting’ and is urging all renters, particularly those signing a rental agreement for the first time, to consult it.
 
Speaking at the launch of the guide Pat Winters, Chair of the SCSI Property Management Group, said it was important that renters made informed decisions. 
 
“We want to provide tenants with the requisite information to help them avoid disputes, but we also want to help them resolve them effectively if and when they arise. 
 
"At this time of year, a lot of students will be moving into rental accommodation and we want them and their parents to put it top of their reading list! If they follow the tips in our guide they may well avoid unnecessary hassle down the line,” he said.
 
“For example, many will sign a group lease without fully realising the implications that has for all members of the group. Should you pay by cash or by bank transfer? Who will sign the inventory form? Who will take photos of all the rooms/appliances with the date clearly indicated? Are friends entitled to stay over? What are the implications of sharing a property with the owner?
 
"Who will repair the fridge if it breaks down? Is the landlord entitled to enter the property without permission? What is the notice period? When will the deposit be returned? These are just some of the issues addressed in the guide and which renters should be familiar with,” Winters said.
 
The society has also launched a ‘Clear Impartial Guide to Letting’ which is aimed at informing landlords of their rights and responsibilities. 
 
Recently the society published a guide dealing specifically with the contentious issue of security deposits. This was in response to the problems many renters have had getting their deposit returned.
 
All three guides are available at www.scsi.ie
 
 
Photo: Alan Cleaver