If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Substantial change

  • 03-11-2022 7:42am
    Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭Thestart

    Hi all,

    Anyone have experience of changing the layout of an apartment and how it’s handled by RTB?

    I am thinking of changing the layout of an apartment I rent so I can get current market rent.

    It’s a two bed that can be changed to a three bed and I can add another storage room. I can upgrade the boiler also as it’s 20 years old at this stage. All quiet east changes.

    if I can’t it’s going on the market in the new year.

    Any advice would be appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,031 ✭✭✭✭Marcusm

    You’ll likely need to speak with the OMC before that as your leasehold will almost certainly require consent for major alterations.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,947 ✭✭✭✭Cuddlesworth

    “the works carried out to the dwelling concerned - 

    consist of a permanent extension to the dwelling that increases the floor area (within the meaning of Article 6 of the Building Regulations 1997 (S.I. No. 497 of 1997)) of the dwelling by the amount equal to not less than 25% of the floor area (within such meaning) of the dwelling as it stood immediately before the commencement of those works, 


    in the case of a dwelling to which the European Union (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 243 of 2012) apply, result in the BER (within the meaning of those Regulations) being improved by not less than 7 building energy ratings, 

    or 3 or above of the below

    the internal layout of the dwelling being permanently altered; 

    the dwelling being adapted to provide for access and use by a person with a disability, within the meaning of the Disability Act 2005; 

    a permanent increase in the number of rooms in the dwelling; 

    in the case of a dwelling to which the European Union (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 243 of 2012) apply and that has BER of D1 or lower; the BER (within the meaning of those Regulations) being improved by not less than 3 building energy ratings; or 

    in the case of a dwelling to which the European Union (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No 243 of 2012) apply and that has a BER of C3 or higher, the BER (within the meaning of those Regulations) being improved by not less than 2 building energy ratings. 

    If a landlord meets the above criteria, they can be exempt from using the HICP rules when setting and reviewing the rent in an RPZ.  

    So if you move walls + add a room, you would need to raise the BER either up with a report both before and after.

    Considering its a apartment, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that might be difficult to do but worth looking into.

    Another point is, most leases prohibit you from adding rooms to apartments and the works could be significant as walls can be structural.

  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭Thestart

    Thanks CW,

    I know what’s on the RTB website re changes and the management company issues. I have talked to the OMC and they don’t have an issue with my proposed changes as none are structural.

    the apartment is 1000 sq/ft and can easily be rearranged to add a bedroom off the hallway. It has an attic space of 600+ sq/ft of usable space that could be used as storage or and laundry room. These two changes are not on the RTB information as substantial changes, I can’t understand why!

    I was hoping to hear from landlords that have done this kind of thing as talking to the RTB is a waste of time for a landlord.

    thanks again for all feedback.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,431 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves

    OP generally in purpose build apartments the internal walls are stud walls not structural. However I do not think your proposal will allow a increase in rent unless you can add the attic space in and that may not qualify because of ceiling height

    If you want to achieve market rent then leave it empty for two years and reset the clock. It will probably be cheaper and less hassle in the long run

    Slava Ukrainii

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,611 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    Isn't the attic in most apartments owned by the OMC? The owner of the apartment usually has exclusive use of it, similar to the balcony.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭Thestart

    How can I remove tenants to leave it empty? Didn’t think I could do that! Can only evict in certain circumstances, selling, refurbishment, for my use and family members use!

    selling looking better and better.

  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭Thestart

    Hi dell2005,

    Only looking for exclusive use of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,947 ✭✭✭✭Cuddlesworth

    What I posted is the RTB website but its also the quote from the legislation.

    It basically says, to get a exemption do option 1(extension basically), option 2(complete renovation including insulation) or at least 3 actions within option 3.

    By changing walls to add a bedroom, you meet 2 of the 3 requirements for a exemption from the third category. You would need to "raise" the BER by either 2 or 3 levels depending on the current rating. It could be done via a boiler upgrade and changing some appliance's + light fixtures. BER person is the best to talk to on that.

    Depends on what's being done but if your adding bedrooms, you would really want for the tenants out for a bunch of reasons.

  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭Thestart

    hi CW,

    Do you have a link to the legislation?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,869 ✭✭✭spaceHopper

    I think you can say you are stopping renting, do that for 2 years then go back to renting should be OK.

    I'm in the same boat as you, my father had a house in flats since he passed away I look after it for my mother and there are two flats empty that need doing up, thing is Dad had the rents low and we kept them low now we are stuck with low rents. I want to keep it house so that when my kids are older they will each have somewhere to stay if they want to move out and as a retirement income. It's also what my Dad would have wanted.

    Right now the risks and economics make no sense.

    The RTB are 100% useless, you could do work, then get a tenant them register and they will say no it doesn't qualify, so then what do you kick out the tenant to keep it empty for two years. If you call or email them they never get back to you. Honestly what's to stop you renting it at a firer rent just below or closer to market rate so that the tenant is happy and not telling the RTB.

  • Advertisement

  • I'm in the same boat with some rentals that were below market rent, keeping the property empty for two years will allow you to adjust the rent back to market levels without having to spend huge sums of money. I know its two years without rent but if you intend holding onto to the properties long term it makes a lot of sense. You can always do some AirBnB to cover costs over those two years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭Thestart

    Some really good advice, thank you.

    ill have a think.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,603 ✭✭✭dennyk

    "Stopping renting" is not a valid reason to terminate a Part 4 tenancy. Unless you're selling the property, need to move in yourself, or need to have a qualifying family member move in, or absolutely require vacant possession for a significant length of time for renovations due to health and safety (and have an engineer attesting to that in writing), the tenancy will continue whether you want to keep being a landlord or not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,431 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves

    LL will usually find a way to terminate leases. In @spaceHopper case it will probably be to carry out a mass refurbishment of the unit and leave it empty for 2yeats. His other choice is to start doing up the units one by one bring the BER up in the unit and then increase the rent. If he dose Tham 1 or two at the time tenant's have the choice of taking the refurbished dearer unit

    In the case of @Thestart LL like that are selling up or when the property becomes vacant leaving it vacant for 24 months. Some LL will probably get away with less than the statutory time if tenant's leave are are transient ( students, non nationals leaving the country or longterm tenant's that they had a good relationship with and were given the deposit back) especially where the rent may have been in cash.

    There was a few pieces on the radio yesterday after the RTB published figures. From July to September the RTB received 13 termination notices a day or 400/ month that an annual figure of 5k/ year. A few of us posting on threads like this were vilified for pointing out this was happening and why.

    I caught a bit of the RTE radio 1 I think it was the CB show but if it was it was not her presenting it. Once again the presenter went light of the Threshold/ homeless advacote and hard on the EA who was on. The EA said that 50% of termination notices at present are because of below market rents and a portion of the rest were because of extra regulatory requirements and fear if more as well as the issue with evicting problem and anti social tenants. The other issue was selling a house with tenant's in it with a below market rent seriously effects the same price

    He said a lot of the terminations would stop if LL after a tenant left who was on a non-market rent if LL could bring these up to the market rate.

    I cannot see how the government can end the termination moratorium next March. The problem is government had an option to throw a carrot to LL in the budget, it choose not to.

    Even at that solutions with conditions often leave a LL little better off.

    Just saw this on the Independent

    Slava Ukrainii

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,786 ✭✭✭DownByTheGarden

    Substantial change for us will be it sitting in the window of the estate agents. Much easier than navigating the sh1tsorm that is the rules for rentals nowadays. Sure to change another few times in the next few months too the way its been going.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,786 ✭✭✭DownByTheGarden

    Yeah we were expecting carrot and not only did we not get the carrot. A few weeks later we got a whack of a big stick too. That was it for us. From on the fence about selling up to leaping to the other side of it as far as we could.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,431 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves

    And yet we have the charities, the government and the opposition parties thinking there will be no conquences. They are encouraging a lot of LL's when there unit becomes vacant to have a hard think about renting again. People with below market rents are now wiling to pay the CGT and walk away

    Slava Ukrainii

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,869 ✭✭✭spaceHopper

    The think is I'm happy with the 3 remaining tenants I just want to be able to set the rent for new tenants for a fair rate. I think the market rate its unfair but as things stand I'd have to go to that and or I'll be back where I began

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,869 ✭✭✭spaceHopper

    It's worse than that, they could see from notices to the RTB that a lot of LL's were serving notice and a lot of LL's were selling when tenancy ends, you still have to inform the RTB of change in tenancy. So they brought out the ban. It's going to make things worse. There will be no evictions for a few months then they either have to double down and extend it. Which is problematic or they have to accept the flood of evictions and homeless middle class voters.

    I can see a terrible summer and winter next year. The war won't be over, more Ukrainians will flee as the winter bites and they have no heating or electricity, they'll have no choice. Where are we going to out them, if it's hotels then lots of tourism jobs are gone for while. The EU will have run through their stock of stored Gas with no way to refill them so winter 23 is going to be bleak.

  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭Thestart

    The more terminations LL send the louder these organisations shout for more legislation that pushes more LL to send terminations. They don’t get it (I don’t believe this) or it’s a purely a political/ funding play.

    I saw the Renters union, I think there called. Asking for rent reductions and a permanent rent freeze to help sort the problem! You hear them all on the media, very few commentators pushing them on the reality of what the consequence’s are of these ideas.

    I know what’s going to happen if I go to my tenant and tell them they have to leave to renovate. They will offer me the market rent and I’ll have to tell them that they are going to have to leave anyway.

    They both work, one walking distance from the apartment. Their child goes to school walking distance from the apartment. There is nothing to rent in the area even at market rent.

    Even at market rates how safe is my investment from these idiots the more I think about it the best solution seem to be to sell and invest somewhere else.

    The whole narrative around the bad landlord is basically a smokescreen for the governments of the last 10+ Years to hide behind.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,786 ✭✭✭DownByTheGarden

    I wont be informing the RTB that my tenants are gone. The RTB have done nothing for me, i will do nothing for the RTB. I will be throwing and letters i get from them in the bin and not replying. Joke of an outfit.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,786 ✭✭✭DownByTheGarden

    It wont be too long now before you cant sell your property if you wanted to. For example if you decided right now that you wanted to sell it. you couldnt sell it until probably 2024. 100% there will be more legislation pushing that out further and further.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 36,310 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    Material alteration in a building containing flats.

    You will need a Fire Safety Certificate and possibly a Disabled Access Certificate.