The Emergency Period under the Residential Tenancies Act 2020 was introduced on 31st December and expired on 12th April 2021. For more information on what this means, continue reading below.
Please note the RTB does not manage Covid-19 income supports or Covid-19 public health guidelines. For the latest information, please visit the Department of Social Protection's website here or the HSE's website www.hse.ie.
The Residential Tenancies Act 2020
On 12th April 2021, the Emergency Period under the Residential Tenancies Act 2020 (RTA 2020) expired.
The RTA 2020 introduced temporary pauses on tenancy terminations from taking effect during an Emergency Period, except in limited exceptions. An Emergency Period applies in locations covered by a 5 km travel restriction and for the relevant durations specified by the Minister for Health in Regulations made by him under section 31A of the Health Act 1947. This means that whenever the movement of a person is restricted to within 5 kilometres of their home, the temporary restriction on ending a tenancy will apply.
The latest Emergency Period began on 31st December 2020 and expired on 12th April 2021. This means that notice periods that were paused can be calculated from 13th April 2021 and existing laws on how to end a tenancy apply again from 13th April 2021.
The RTA 2020 did not affect the provisions relating to rent in the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2020. This means that the obligation to pay rent and rent setting rules remain as normal during any Emergency Period.
On 30 March 2021, the Residential Tenancies Act 2021 was signed into law which introduces changes to the RTA 2020 in relation to the limited exceptions for ending a tenancy which is described further below. This Act seeks to clarify that a 5-kilometre restriction does not affect the legal obligation on a tenant to pay rent. Instead, tenants in circumstances where they cannot pay their rent due to the pandemic, can move to avail of the separate protections as set out in the Planning and Development, and Residential Tenancies Act, 2020 (PDRTA). For more information on the PDRTA, please click here or continue reading below.
Part 3 (Residential Tenancies) of the Planning and Development, and Residential Tenancies, Act 2020
Part 3 (Residential Tenancies) of the Planning and Development, and Residential Tenancies, Act 2020 (the PDRTA) was enacted on 19 December 2020 to provide for temporary modifications to the operation of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. Subsequently, on 30 March 2021, the Residential Tenancies Act 2021 also introduced an amendment to the PDRTA to extend the application of the tenancy protections for a further three months from 13 April 2021 to 12 July 2021. As such, from 11 January to 12 July 2021 inclusive and subject to certain conditions, a 90-day (rather than the usual 28 days) termination notice period applies, where a tenant is in rent arrears due to Covid-19 and is at risk of losing their tenancy.
The earliest termination date allowed in such circumstances is 13 July 2021. Rent increases are prohibited for relevant tenancies up to and including 12 July 2021, with no backdating allowed. The aim is to further assist tenants financially impacted by Covid-19, while recognising and balancing the rights of landlords who, equally, may be in financial difficulty during this unprecedented period.
The PDRTA provides that if a tenant’s ability to pay rent has been impacted by Covid-19 during the period from 1 August 2020 up to and including 12 July 2021 and a tenant meets specific criteria, then new procedures and protections apply. Please read the Guidance Document and FAQs for further information.