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What is a tenancy?


Landlord signing a tenancy agreement.
What is a tenancy?

A tenancy describes the period of occupancy that the tenant resides in the landlord’s property. A tenancy is not absolute ownership of the dwelling. A tenancy includes a periodic tenancy and a tenancy for a fixed term. A tenancy may be oral or in writing or implied. It also includes a sub-tenancy.

Please note that since the 15 July 2009 the definition of tenancy under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 no longer includes tenancies where the term of the tenancy is more than 35 years. If the term of a tenancy exceeds 35 years then it is not a tenancy which must be registered with the RTB.

A tenancy agreement, also known as a lease, is an instrument in writing containing a contract of tenancy in respect of a dwelling. It is a legally binding contract between a tenant and a landlord stipulating the terms, conditions and responsibilities of both parties to the agreement for the duration stated in said agreement. It does not matter whether the written instrument is under seal or not.

The tenancy agreement should include the parties to the lease, the terms of the rent agreed, the terms of the agreement and dates, all specific rules that the landlord wishes to impose, the details of the property and a signature from all parties to the tenancy.

The tenancy commencement date will depend on the circumstances of each individual tenancy. It is the date on which the tenant typically moves in and the tenancy agreement is signed by the tenant.

To view our available rental properties where a tenancy may be commenced, click here.

What is a license?

A license is not a tenancy and therefore (save for one exception) the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 does not apply to such an arrangement. A license can be best described as a permission to enter onto and/or occupy a dwelling (without which a trespass would occur). The period of occupancy is far shorter for a license than for a tenancy. Examples of a license are a person staying in hotel, hostel or guesthouse or a person sharing a house with the owner.

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