Further Changes to Policy and the Law

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Changes to time period in appeals to a Tribunal

Since 17th January 2017 the time period to appeal to Tribunal has been reduced from 21 days to 10 working days

Changes to Probationary Period for a Further Part 4 Tenancy

The 2016 Act extends the Part 4 tenancy cycle from 4 years to 6 years. This applies to all new tenancies that commenced on or after 24 December 2016, including a Further Part 4 tenancy coming into existence on or after this date. A tenancy may be terminated within the first six months without giving a reason. Once a Part 4 tenancy comes into existence it can only be terminated by using one of the Section 34 grounds in the 2004 Act. In summary those grounds are:-

  • There has been a failure to comply with obligations under the tenancy
  • The dwelling is no longer suited to the needs of the occupying household
  • The landlord intends to sell the dwelling within 3 months of the termination date
  • The landlord requires the dwelling for own or family member occupation
  • Vacant possession is required for substantial refurbishment of the dwelling
  • The landlord intends to change the use of the dwelling

If a fixed term lease is in place, the termination of a Part 4 tenancy, which also has the benefit of a fixed term lease, can only occur where:-

  • There has been a breach of obligations by either landlord or tenant;
  • The landlord has refused a sublet or assignment request from the tenant;
  • The fixed term lease provides for specific grounds for termination and those grounds comply with the terms of the 2004 Act.

Terminating a Further Part 4 tenancy has changed since 17th January 2017. Where a landlord is seeking to terminate a Further Part 4 tenancy in the first six months (the probationary period), they will be required to rely upon one of the Section 34 grounds (the fixed term lease termination restrictions continue to apply).  Prior to this change a landlord could terminate a Further Part 4 in the first 6 months without providing a reason.

More Information regarding Notices of Termination can be found at  http://www.rtb.ie/dispute-resolution/dispute-resolution/sample-notices-of-termination

Notices of Termination and the ‘Tyrrelstown’ amendment

The ‘Tyrrelstown’ amendments commenced on 17th January 2017 and relates to a restriction on the sale of 10 or more units, the subject of tenancies, in a development. The content of the Notice of Termination has not changed but an amended statutory declaration is required under these circumstances. An individual statutory declaration will have to accompany each individual notice of termination.

The 2016 Act restricts the termination of certain tenancies and requires additional information to be inserted into the statutory declaration where an exemption to the Tyrrelstown amendment is being relied upon. This new law confirms that a Part 4 tenancy cannot be terminated on the grounds of an intention to sell where the landlord is seeking to sell 10 or more dwellings within a development during the relevant time. ‘Relevant time’ means any period of 6 months within the period beginning with:-

  • the offer for sale of the first dwelling, and
  • ending with the offer for sale in the development of the last dwelling.

The restriction on the selling of 10 of more units is subject to a market value exemption. The restriction does not apply where the landlord can show, to the satisfaction of the RTB, that the price to be obtained by selling the dwellings at market value is more than 20 per cent below the market value that could be obtained if sold with vacant possession, and, that applying this restriction would, having regard to all the circumstances, be unduly onerous on the landlord, or would cause undue hardship on the landlord.

It should be noted that a notice of termination on the grounds of an intention to sell, which was served before January 17th, will operate under the previous rules. It should also be noted that the provisions will apply to all tenancies, including those created before January 17th.