Residential Tenancies

The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act, 2016 (2016 Act) was signed into law by the President on 23rd December 2016. The 2016 Act made significant amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004. The 2016 Act was introduced as part of the Government’s focus on addressing deficiencies in the rental sector and the housing crisis.
Some of the key changes included in the 2016 Act are:
 
1. The introduction of rent predictability measures.
Dublin and Cork City have now been designated as Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ) for a period of three years since 24th December 2016 and other electoral areas in Galway, Meath, Wicklow and Kildare have been designated as RPZs in 2017.
In a property located within an RPZ, rents can only increase by a prescribed formula up to a maximum of 4% annually.
 
2. Additional security of tenure for tenants.
The 2016 Act now extends Part 4 tenancies from four years to six years and applies to all new tenancies that come into operation on or after 24th December 2016, including ‘Further Part 4’ tenancies coming into existence after that date.
 
3. Restrictions on landlords terminating tenancies.
Where a landlord seeks to terminate a tenancy on the grounds that the property will be sold within three months of the termination of the tenancy, there is now an obligation on the landlord to provide a statutory declaration to this effect.
Where a landlord proposes to sell 10 or more units within a development at the same time or within a six month period, the landlord will not be entitled to terminate the tenancies on the grounds of intending to sell the properties. There is an exemption to this however where the landlord can show that the price to be obtained by selling the units is more than 20% of the market value which would be achieved by selling the units with vacant possession and it would cause undue hardship on the landlord to restrict him, her or it from selling the units.
 
4. An obligation on landlords to provide certain information to new tenants.
There is now an obligation on landlords to provide certain information to a tenant where a new tenancy commences on or after 24th December 2016 and the property is located in a RPZ. The landlord is obliged to furnish written information to the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy outlining the following:

  1. The amount of rent that was last set under a tenancy for the property;
  2. The date the rent was last set under a tenancy for the property; and
  3. A statement as to how the rent set under the tenancy of the dwelling has been calculated having regard to the RPZ formula.