Leasing in Ireland – The True Cost of Being a Landlord

Yellow house door

Leasing in Ireland – The True Cost of Being a Landlord

 

Despite public perception and high rents, the bottom line for landlords is rarely as clear-cut as popular opinion supposes. An immense of responsibility, paperwork, and costs is plenty to deter many from participating. For those considering leasing in Ireland, we have comprised an extensive list of costs, helping you provide the best value to your tenant while ensuring your costs are suitably maintained.

 

business people making agreement with pen

 

1. Lost Rent

Keeping costs low can be a priority for many landlords, but a breakeven point must be identified to detect when an empty rental income is operating at a loss. HomeHak’s Lease Calculator is designed to help you keep track of the multiple incomings and outgoings to locate the precise point of profit.

 

2. Mortgage

Unless you own the property in full, one of the highest costs to overcome is a monthly mortgage repayment, with an average interest rate on new mortgages in Ireland amounting to 2.79%, noticeably higher than the European average of 1.29% (D. Cassidy, Why mortgage rates in Ireland are so high, 2021). If every room in the house is leased or not, your mortgage will remain due as standard.

 

3. Pre/Post Letting Expenses

In order to provide the highest value to your tenants, it is necessary to ensure that upkeep expenses are incurred prior to and after a tenant has stayed. Any tenant will demonstrate signs of living, be it marks on painted walls, scrapes on floorboards, or just some well-worn couch cushions.

 

A landlord has the responsibility to provide well insulated and ventilated living conditions that are free from damp, as well as equipping sound structural and electrical integrity. These turnaround times should be kept to a minimum and a timely and efficient electrician, carpenter, or painter will prove invaluable.

 

tenant-cv-rental-application-new-home

4. PRTB Registration

The vast majority of landlords will find it necessary to register with the Private Residents Tenancy Board. Costing €90 per tenancy, this registration allows you listing on the national register of tenancies and is a requirement for any landlord. 

 

5. Insurance

Conventional home insurance will not cover you for rental activities and as a landlord, you are legally required to provide insurance for fire and public liability. Similarly to our Tenant’s Guide, you will find investing the time to source the best insurance a worthwhile return. 

 

6. Fees

Managing a property is much more than just financially intensive; a significant amount of time is taken up dealing with issues, sourcing the correct tenant and other administrative responsibilities. In order to avoid these, as many as 87% of landlords find it worthwhile to outsource said responsibilities to estate agents…at a small fee of course (HomeLet Landlord Survey, 2015).

 

Estate agents will advertise your property, filter through the countless applications, and identify the best-suited applicants for your final approval. They will also collect rent on your behalf and act as the go-between for any queries big or small. Thus, providing you with a hassle-free experience ranging from 6.5% – 10% of rents (Estate Agents., Let.ie., 2021).

 

In addition to the direct fees mentioned above, there are legal and accounting fees. For every contract, application, and submission there will be a solicitor required to pore over and flag any potential issues, as well as bookkeeping and tax bills to meet.

 

7. Council Charges

Your tenant may directly deal with some fees depending on the agreement including rubbish, recycling, or other services such as gardening. However, if you will be managing these directly you need to consider these costs to appropriately offset them. 

 

8. Maintenance & Repairs

Often the area of most debate, maintenance and repair charges can prove costly, just as they can be for any homeowner. Effective pre/post letting care will only provide you with so much cover throughout your tenant’s lease. Ultimately luck plays a factor and a corrupt socket may be as likely as a leaky roof, although both substantially differ in cost. How many tenants you have under your roof will impact these costs and recent data indicates this number is on the rise at 2.8 on average (Savills Ireland., Shifting Ownership in Ireland’s Private Rented Sector., 2017).

 

A close and trusted relationship with plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and general workhorses are worthy investments. A difficult cost to anticipate without the use of hindsight and precedent, it must nonetheless be considered when setting rents.

 

9. Tax

Before profits can be redirected, taxes need to be budgeted for. As with most taxes in Ireland what you pay is dependent on your personal circumstances. Net rental income is taxed at either 20% or 40% and due every year on the 31 October. Planning and organization will prove your best tools in minimizing the amount due. Keep every receipt!

 

Here is a list of expenses that you can offset against your taxable profits:

 

a) PRTB Registration of €90

b) Wear and Tear maintenance is deductible to the point where the property is in a livable standard, including furnishings and fittings, and essential repairs and maintenance

c) Advertising and Management Fees

d) Legal and Accounting Fees

e) Insurance premiums

 

10. Trust

Trust is one of the more critical and intangible considerations. It can either prove to be an invaluable asset or an endless liability. Your tenant will directly impact the costs you will incur, either directly or indirectly. Providing your tenant with the opportunity to invest themselves into their home will make them happier and therefore more likely to remain. Data would indicate that there is a trend towards longer-term tenancies. 25% of agreements now longer than 12 months, up from 15% in 2017 (Residential Tenancies Board., Rent Index., 2018).

 

Besides the exceptional cases of moving country or county, your tenant will continue to provide you with income as long as they are content with their conditions.

 

agent giving keys to tenant

11. Profit

It may seem strange to see profit listed as a cost for landlords. However, when calculating a breakeven point, you must include a cost for the time and stress incurred. It is essential to appropriately research the target market. Guidelines indicate it is inadvisable for renters to pay more than 40% of their income on rent (EY DKM, Rent Affordability in the Irish Residential Market, 2018).

 

To summarise

Being a landlord in Ireland can be a thankless job that is sometimes vilified. However, there is a vital service provided that supports the country and those living in it. Your unseen work and risk-balanced consistently will allow you to maintain a profit. Alongside, also allowing for good people to turn your property into a home. 

Check out our article Best Ways To Be A Great Landlord – HomeHaks Top Recommendations!

Who Can Be A Personal Reference On Your Rental Application?

Your rental application is the ticket to your ideal home. One of the most important stages of the application process happens during your reference checks. For this reason, it’s important to select those references carefully. Read our guide to find out who can be a personal reference on your rental application.

 

Personal references can be hard to come by, especially when you’re already overwhelmed putting the rest of a rental application together. When you’re in a competitive rental market, it’s important to provide the most impressive references possible. Professionalism is key when choosing who will write your references and how many references you include with your application. 

 

Understanding the landlord screening process

One thing to keep in mind when trying to choose your references is the screening process that landlords will go through. A property manager typically does background checks on your income and rental history. This is done to ensure that landlords can trust you, so they can be confident that you’ll be the right tenant for their property! To learn more about what information a landlord can request as part of your rental application, check out this handy guide from Threshold. 

 

They’re looking for certain things during this evaluation like credit history, criminal record, reports of bad behaviour etc. If they can, they will likely contact your references and ask them how they know you, what you’re like, and how reliable you are. As such it’s important to put careful thought into choosing your personal references for your rental application. 

 

 

How to source your references

You should look to find people who know you well enough to speak to your character. Think of the people in your life who could vouch for your personal, financial, and professional reputation.  

At this point, you may already have a few people in mind, but be wary of what kind of answers you might get from them. Reflect on your relationship with these people and consider how they would speak about you in terms of your professionalism, your timeliness, and behaviour. 

 

Choose your references wisely

It’s common for a landlord/agent to ask for a minimum of two rental references, but don’t let that put you off. The reason they do this is so they can verify from an independent third party that you’re genuine and trustworthy.  The ideal references will be able to express your characteristics and qualities in a positive way so that the landlord has faith in you. 

 

Before you go putting everyone you know on your Tenant CV, you first need to work out if they will actually provide you with a reference, and secondly, that what they have to say actually helps your situation. 

 

You don’t want to select someone who might have something negative to say. Bear in mind they may not want to be contacted by anyone. Best practice is to reach out and discuss their feelings on the matter first! Written references are widely accepted, but it helps to have a few contact details available just in case.

 

Who Can Be A Personal Reference On Your Rental Application?

 

Previous landlord – This is probably the best reference to have (if you’ve had a good experience with them of course!) Having a former landlord’s reference on your Tenant CV will immediately catch a property manager’s eye.

 

An employer –  that knows you well and can speak highly of your work ethic, accountability, and attitude is an excellent reference. In most cases, your employer is someone who has worked with you for a long time. What they have to say about you professionally is valuable!

 

Co-workers/ career mentors – also considered great references. Again, someone who knows you professionally who speaks positively about your attitudes and behaviour. 

 

Volunteer Supervisor – A volunteer supervisor who has worked with you can provide you with a vote of confidence in terms of your hard work and diligence.

 

Friends/Family – it can sometimes be thought that a family member or friends aren’t useful references but this isn’t always the case.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a tenancy history. You can compensate by adding a few people you know who can provide a positive character reference. Someone who speaks highly of you can be more valuable than just saying ‘they can pay rent on time’. 

Honesty is the best policy

If you haven’t got the best credit history or if there’s another peculiarity that you think will be revealed during the screening process, the best thing to do is be upfront and honest. Everyone has a different story! A Tenant CV is a great way to explain how great of a tenant you are. 

 

However, if you’re worried about anything (i.e., rental arrears, damages) be prepared to discuss these with the property manager. Put your best foot forward and let them know the steps you’re taking to improve upon your history. 

 

The addition of personal references instantly elevates your rental application, but always go with your gut. When considering your options reflect carefully about who can be the best personal reference on your rental application. Choose people who you can trust! 

 

HomeHak Tenant CV

HomeHak provides the tools to easily include references on a beautiful Tenant CV. A Tenant CV is a document that showcases your attributes and interests when looking for a home. The idea is to build a Tenant CV once and use it as often as you need! The step-by-step process couldn’t be simpler, and it has a lot of benefits!

Check out how you can start building a Tenant CV here