Changes introduced by the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 (the “2019 Act”) was signed into law on 31 May 2019 and introduces a number of changes to Irish residential tenancies.

New termination procedures were introduced. If the tenancy was over 6 months in duration, the landlord is now required to send a copy of the notice of termination to the Residential Tenancies Board (the “RTB”) within 28 days of the tenancy ending.

Since 4 June 2019 longer notice periods must now be given by a landlord to terminate a residential tenancy. These notice periods are as follows: –

Duration of tenancy

New notice period

Less than 6 months

28 days

6 or more months but less than 1 year

90 days

1 year or more but less than 3 years

120 days

3 years or more but less than 7 years

180 days

7 years or more but less than 8 years

196 days

8 or more years

224 days

The landlord must also provide the tenant with a reason for ending the tenancy under the grounds contained in Section 34 of the 2019 Act. These grounds include:-

  • Sale of the property

The landlord must enter into a contract for the sale of the property within 9 months of the termination date of the tenancy. The landlord is obliged to offer the tenant an opportunity to re-lease the property if the landlord decides to re-let the property or does not sell the property within the 9 months, provided the tenant has given his contact details to the landlord.

  • Occupation of the property by the landlord or landlord’s family member

If the property becomes available for re-let within 12 months of the expiry of the notice period, the landlord must offer it back to the tenant. The tenant must have provided their contact details in writing to the landlord within 28 days of receiving a notice of termination.

  • Substantial refurbishment of the property

The property must be offered back to the tenant on completion of the works if it becomes available for re-letting. The 2019 Act has introduced specific requirements which the landlord must meet when serving a notice of termination under this heading. The notice of termination must state:

  • Whether planning permission is required;

  • The name of the contractor (if any);

  • The date on which proposed works are to be carried out, and

  • The proposed duration of the works.

The notice of termination must contain (or be accompanied by) a certificate in writing of a registered professional stating that the proposed works would pose a threat to the health and safety of the occupants of the property and should not proceed while the dwelling is occupied. The notice of termination must also state the length of time that the property must be vacated in order to complete the works. This period must be longer than three weeks.

  • Change of use of the property

The notice of termination served under this ground must include (or be accompanied by):

  • A statement setting out the new intended use of the property;

  • A copy of the planning permission (if relevant);

  • Details of the work to be carried out;

  • The name of the contractor; and

  • The dates and proposed duration of the works.

If the property becomes available for rent within 12 months of the notice period expiring the landlord must to offer the property back to the tenant.

The 2019 Act also introduces remedial notices which allow a landlord or a tenant to serve a new shorter notice if a mistake was made in an original notice of termination. Remedial notices can only be used if the party being served with the notice is granted the full benefit of the notice period they are entitled to.

There are further changes which have yet to be implemented. Landlords will be required to register a tenancy with the RTB annually, rather than simply registering a new tenancy when it commences. The fee for annual registration of a tenancy will be €40 or €170 for bulk registration by a landlord of up to 10 residential lettings in the same property. This annual registration obligation will impose additional fees for landlords and an increase in administration work to be carried out. This obligation has not yet been enacted and the RTB has confirmed that it will provide landlords with advanced notice of when it is due to commence.