Termination of Part 4 Tenancies – Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 Updates

Since 2004, residential tenancies in Ireland have been governed by legislation which sets out various rights and obligations of landlords and tenants.  The recently introduced Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 (“the Act”) has brought greater clarity to the regulation of tenancies and places new obligations and liability on Landlords.

Termination of tenancies by landlords

Part 4 tenancies (that is tenancies that enjoy security of tenure) can only be terminated on limited grounds during the 6 year protection period (or 4 year protection period in the case of a tenancy that commenced before 24 December 2016).

Notice periods

The Act has significantly extended the notice periods a Landlord must provide to a Tenant when terminating a tenancy.

This change came into effect on 04 June 2019.

If a tenancy has lasted less than 6 months, the Landlord does not have to give a reason as to why the tenancy is ending. If a tenancy lasts 6 months or more, the Landlord must give a reason as to why (discussed below). The below table sets out a comparison of the old and new minimum notice periods required:

Duration of Tenancy Previous Notice Period New Notice Period
Less than 6 months 28 days 28 days
More than 6 months but less than 1 year 35 days 90 days
1 year or more but less than 2 years 42 days 120 days
2 years or more but less than 3 years 56 days 120 days
3 years or more but less than 4 years 84 days 180 days
4 years or more but less than 5 years 112 days 180 days
5 or more but less than 6 years 140 days 180 days
6 or more but less than 7 years 168 days 180 days
7 or more but less than 8 years 196 days 196 days
8 or more years 224 days 224 days

However, if a valid notice of termination has been issued before 04 June 2019 then the previous notice periods will apply.

Intention to sell the property

Previously, where a landlord terminated the tenancy with the intention of selling the property, they had to enter a Contract for Sale within three months of the termination date. This timeframe has been increased to within nine months of the termination date. The Landlord is obliged to re-offer the property to the former tenant if it has not been sold within nine months and provided the tenant has given the Landlord their contact details.

Refurbishment of the dwelling

A tenancy can be terminated where the Landlord intends to carry out substantial refurbishment of the property. The Act provides that where a tenancy has been terminated on this basis, the property must be offered back to the former tenant on completion of the renovation works if the property becomes available for reletting (previously within six months of the termination date). In the event that the Landlord is terminating due to health and safety reasons, the Act requires the landlord to produce an Architect or Surveyor’s certificate confirming that the tenants are required to vacate the property for a minimum of three weeks.

If the landlord or family member intends to live in the property

In the case of termination of a tenancy where the Landlord or a family member intend to live in the property, the Landlord must offer the property back to the former tenant if the property becomes available for rent again. The Act extends the period that a Landlord must offer the property back to the former tenant from 6 months to 12 months from the expiry of the notice period.

Change of use

The Act has extended the time period during which the property must be offered back to a tenant for reletting in circumstances where a tenancy is terminated on the grounds of change of use. If a property becomes available for reletting within 12 months of the termination date (previously 6 months), a landlord will be obliged to offer the property back to the former tenant provided the tenant has given the Landlord their contact details.

Termination notice

Landlords must now also send a copy of the termination notice to the Residential Tenancies Board within 28 days of the expiry of the notice period.

How we can help?

For further information on this topic or for assistance with queries about residential tenancies please contact Aine Quinn in our Commercial Real Estate Department on 01 440 8300 or aquinn@bhsm.ie.

This article is for general information purposes.  Legal advice must be obtained for individual circumstances.  Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this article, no liability is accepted by the author for any inaccuracies.

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