The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill 2018 (the “Bill”), which was published in January 2019, is currently at the committee stage in the Dáil and has already sparked quite the debate among cabinet members. The Bill aims to provide more protection for tenants and if enacted in it’s current form will substantially increase the obligations of landlord of residential properties.
The Bill proposes to extend notice periods required to be given to tenants to terminate tenancies, gives powers to the Residential Tenancies Board (“RTB”) to investigate and sanction non-compliant landlords and allows for the publication of rental amounts in the RTB register. We are providing a short summary of the most significant proposed changes below:
Once a tenant is in occupation for more than 6 months the notice period required to terminate their tenancy is to be significantly extended.
|Duration of tenancy
|Current Notice Period
|Notice Period in Bill*
|Less than 6 months
|6 or more months but less than 1 year
|1 year or more but less than 2 years
|2 years or more but less than 3 years
|3 years or more but less than 4 years
|4 years or more but less than 5 years
|5 years or more but less than 6 years
|6 years or more but less than 7 years
|7 years or more but less than 8 years
|8 or more years
While this would offer greater protection for tenants it will however take longer for landlords to get vacant possession of their properties.
(A) At least 50% of the floor area of the dwelling has undergone renovation; and
(B) The renovation works are structural in nature to the extent that:
The Minister has indicated that further amendments may be included in the Bill to extend certain provisions of the Residential Tenancies Acts in particular those connected with rent setting to purpose built student (specific) accommodation let under licence by private or public provides. This could also see student accommodation rent rises capped at 4%.
Minister Eoghan Murphy has stated in respect of the Bill that: “The key measures and reforms are designed to enhance enforcement powers for the RTB, provide greater security of tenure for tenants and further underpin the operation of the Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) arrangements, along with some further targeted priority measures.”
In conclusion the proposed amendments to the Act could have significant ramifications for all residential landlords and it is important that landlords are well-informed of these changes.
For further information please contact Joan Maclean (Partner), or your usual AMOSS contact.