Fixed term tenancies and Part 4 tenancies
A fixed term tenancy is a tenancy that lasts for a specific amount of time as set out in your tenancy agreement or lease. A ‘part 4’ tenancy runs alongside a fixed term tenancy, which means that the tenant shall, after a period of six months and as in the normal course, become entitled to the provision of a ‘Part 4’ tenancy. A Part 4 tenancy means they can stay in the property for a further five and a half years or three and a half years if the tenancy commenced before 24 December 2016 and subject to certain exceptions for termination. This means that irrespective of the length of a fixed term lease, a tenant has an entitlement to remain in the dwelling for up to six years and the landlord can only terminate on limited grounds.
For landlords a fixed term tenancy can be ended during the period of the fixed term if:
- the tenant has breached one of the conditions of the lease.
- the reason for ending a fixed term tenancy is non payment of rent. Where the tenant has not paid their rent within the minimum 28 day period afforded for payment following receipt of a written rent arrears warning notice by both the tenant and the RTB. The 28-day period commences upon receipt of the written rent arrears notice by the tenant or the RTB, whichever occurs later. Legislation was introduced on 1st August 2020 which brought in new procedures related to ending a tenancy due to rent arrears. For more information, please click here.
- the reason for ending the tenancy is because of a breach of the tenant’s responsibilities, the landlord must state the breach in the warning notice, and in a 28 day notice if one follows.
For tenants a fixed term tenancy can be ended if:
- the landlord has breached their responsibilities. You must write to the landlord telling them they have breached their responsibilities and give reasonable time for them to resolve the problem. If they do not do this, 28 days notice to leave may be given regardless of how long you have lived in the property.
- the landlord has refused to allow you to sublet the tenancy. In this case, you must give notice depending on how long you have lived in the property.
- If the landlord has refused a request by you for assignment of the lease.
A break clause may be provided for in a fixed term tenancy agreement. If, for example, the break clause could be exercised after 18 months, and the landlord wanted to exercise the break clause after this time, the tenant could rely on their Part 4 rights to remain in the dwelling. However, if the tenant wanted to exercise the break clause, it would have to be agreed by the tenant and landlord.