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Money Matters for Renters Webinar – Our top 5 takeaways

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The cost of living crisis continues to present significant challenges for countless households around Ireland.

This is particularly the case for property renters, who must also navigate an extremely competitive property rental market.

In the Money Matters for Renters webinar, our panel of experts discussed various key topics relevant to renters such as tenant rights, housing supply and demand, the Rent Tax Credit, tips when buying a property, and more!

Watch the session here

Our Money Matters for Renters panel of speakers:

Our fantastic line up of speakers include MC Sinead Ryan and panellists Marian Ryan – Business Development Director at Taxback, Adam Ferguson – Chief Commercial Officer at Daft.ie, Ann-Marie O'Reilly – National Advocacy Manager at Threshold, and Darren Nolan – Head of Financial Planning at Finance Solutions.

In this article, we will outline the top five takeaways from the Money Matters for Renters webinar.


1. How to make it to the top of a landlord's wish list

Given the current shortage of rental properties, it can be a real challenge for tenants to find a new home.

During the webinar, our panel shared their advice on how to give yourself the best chance of being selected by a landlord.

Darren Nolan, Head of Financial Planning, Finance Solutions believes that renters should use their rental application as an opportunity to demonstrate their reliability and trustworthiness as tenant.

"Landlords are generally looking for tenants that are in permanent employment, can pay their rent on time, keep the property in a good state and tenants that provide little work for the landlord," says Nolan. "If you can tick these boxes on your application, you will show the landlord you are a good candidate."

Meanwhile Adam Ferguson, Chief Commercial Officer, Daft.ie believes that people should look for properties through both letting agencies and private sites such as Daft.ie. In order to have the best chance of getting the property you must "present yourself as an ideal tenant."

Ferguson advises people to "put their best foot forward, put yourself in the position of the landlord, consider their perspective" with regards to what landlords would consider ideal tenant.

It is important to remember that if you are going through a letting agency that they are essentially the filter in the process, so it is important to make a good impression.

Ferguson also recommends having your references ready, similar to as if you were applying for a job.

When painting yourself as the ideal tenant, Ferguson reiterates the importance of remembering that your enquiry on Daft.ie is your first opportunity to make an impression and get your foot in the door to get a viewing of the property.

Tips on what to include when you are submitting your enquiry:

  • Explain what you are about
  • What your needs are
  • Who you are
  • How organised you are
  • Attach your references


2. Eviction vs legal termination notice – what is the difference?

Disagreements and disputes with landlords are not an uncommon experience for many tenants.

In fact, the RTB received 5,178 applications for dispute resolution in 2020 alone.

But what is the difference between an eviction and a legal termination notice?

Ann-Marie O'Reilly, National Advocacy Manager at Threshold, explains the steps a landlord must follow to lawfully terminate a tenancy.

"A landlord can terminate a tenancy on a number of grounds, such as if they are going to sell, complete a significant refurbishment on the property, or changing the use of the property."

O'Reilly shares the steps a landlord must follow to lawfully terminate the contract.

  • Firstly, "the termination must be in writing, it cannot be in an email or text message"
  • "Landlords must also send a copy of the notice to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB)"
  • "If the landlord is ending the tenancy because they wish to sell the property, they must have a statutory declaration declaring that intent"
  • "If they are completing a refurbishment on the property, landlords must provide evidence that the refurbishment is significant enough that the property must be vacated"

"In the case of the refurbishment of a property, the tenants must be offered the property back after the refurbishment has taken place. Similarly, in the case of sale, if you do not end up selling you do have to offer it back to the renter."

"Although there are timelines on both of these it is worth taking note of this and knowing your rights as a renter."

O'Reilly states that "if a landlord did evict for sale, doesn't sell, doesn't offer it back to the tenant, that is still an unlawful termination."


3. Future planning and preparing for a mortgage

"Everyone should have a financial plan to give more clarity in terms of where you are to where you want to be (financially)", says Nolan

A financial plan is a comprehensive document (such as an excel file) which outlines an individual's short- and long-term financial goals and a strategy to achieve them.

Nolan argues that financial plans are important because they allow you to see what is coming in and what you are paying out. In doing so "it is important to set goals and timeframes to achieve these goals, while holding yourself accountable."

This is especially important if you want to apply for a mortgage as you will need to have your finances in order and be able to illustrate to the bank that you can meet your mortgage repayments.

You can do this by demonstrating your rent payments. Therefore, Nolan says "it is best practice to electronically transfer rental payments" to provide proof of payment to the banks.

"Showing that you are able to save is also an important factor."

Nolan also notes that short-term debt can be used to prove you will be able to meet mortgage repayments, "provided it will be cleared before the mortgage drawdown."

Nolan points out some financial supports that are available including the "help-to-buy scheme which is a tax rebate over the last four calendar years for first-time property buyers, the maximum that can be received through this scheme is €30,000."


4. Tips for buying property

"Information is power and helps you to make better decisions", says Ferguson.

Finding the perfect property to buy can be tricky. And sometimes compromises must be made in order to secure the right home.

Ferguson states the good news that "if you're looking to buy, there are some options".

However, "you may have to be flexible about where you live as you might not get to live exactly where you want to."

Ferguson reiterates that "you have to compromise, maybe you will have to commute as opposed to living in the city centre."

"Before committing to buying a property, rent an Airbnb next to where you are planning to move. This will provide you with a lot more value as to what it would be like and provides the opportunity to understand different aspects, such as commuting time," he concludes.

5. The Rent Tax Credit

"If you don't ask for it, you won't get it"

This is the advice provided by Marian Ryan, Business Development Director at Taxback, as she explains that many people have not claimed the Rent Tax Credit.

The Rent Tax Credit is worth €500 per year for a single individual and €1,000 for a married couple.

However, many tenants are missing out on this as they feel uncomfortable asking their landlord for the RTB registration number, Ryan explains "if this is the case it is possible to find your RTB registration number on the RTB website by entering your Eircode."

"If it's the case that you are a tenant renting a room under the rent-a-room scheme, you are still entitled to claim the Rent Tax Credit and in this case there is no requirement for a RTB number."

Additionally, "if you are a parent paying for a child's college rent, the Rent Tax Credit can be claimed in this situation. If you are in a house share each individual can claim the €500."

However, Ryan points out "if you are in social housing or if you are renting from a local authority, you are not eligible to claim the Rent Tax Credit as you are already receiving a support."

Ryan provides another tip when applying for the credit "you will find all the information that you need on your tenancy agreement."


Not sure if you're entitled to claim the Rent Tax Credit? Taxback can help.

We will conduct a full tax review to ensure you get every tax relief you are owed.

Our average Irish tax refund is €1,880!

Start your tax refund here.

Remember, if you missed the session, you can watch the webinar back on-demand here.


This is the first session in our new Smart Money Sessions webinar series, be sure to check back for details of future events.

About The Author

Rachel Gilmartin - Junior Content Executive @ Taxback.com

Rachel is a Junior Content Executive at Taxback. She graduated from the University of Galway in 2022 with a degree in Digital Marketing.

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