To end a tenancy, a valid Notice of Termination must be sent to the tenant.
What is a valid Notice of Termination?
To be valid the notice must:
- Be copied to the RTB at the same time as it is served on the tenant.
- Be in writing
- Be signed by the landlord or authorised agent
- Give the date the notice is served. This is the date the notice is posted, or hand delivered.
- State the grounds for ending the tenancy (if the tenancy has lasted for more than 6 months or is a fixed term tenancy). If a tenancy lasts 6 months or more, the landlord must use one of the 7 permitted grounds to end the tenancy
- Give the date by which the tenant must leave the property and state that the tenant has the full 24 hours to leave the property. To find out the correct number of days or 'notice period' to give click here
- State that any issue as to the validity of the notice or the right of the landlord to serve it must be referred to the RTB within the time period permitted.
From 6 July 2022, if a tenant has an issue with the validity of the Notice of Termination they have received, a tenant now has 90-days (from the receipt of the notice) to apply for dispute resolution with the RTB. This was increased from 28-days.
This does not apply to Notices of Termination served for breach of tenant obligations or rent arrears. Where a breach has occurred, the time period to apply for Dispute Resolution with the RTB is 28-days.
Notice of Termination Return Form
From 6 July 2022, there is a new requirement for the landlord to send a copy of all Notices of Termination to the RTB on the same day as the notice is served on the tenant. The Notice of Termination will be deemed invalid if this requirement is not met.
A landlord serving a Notice of Termination is asked to complete a Notice of Termination Return Form and attach a copy of the notice in question. All Notices of Termination, including Notices of Termination served where the tenancy has lasted less than six months, must be copied to the RTB. These documents must be sent to the Residential Tenancies Board on the same day as the notice is served on the tenant. Landlords should retain copies and proof of postage for their records.
Terminating a tenancy for rent arrears
Where a tenant has fallen in to rent arrears, landlords must follow the 6 step rent arrears process which can be found below.
Landlords must serve a copy of the written rent arrears warning notice to the RTB.
In rent arrears cases, the 28-day warning notice period will count from the date that both the tenant and the RTB have received the warning notice. If a landlord does not submit a copy of the warning notice to the RTB and they proceed to issue a Notice of Termination, the Notice of Termination will be invalid.
A landlord must also send a copy of the rent arrears Notice of Termination to the RTB on the same day they serve it on their tenant. The Notice of Termination will be deemed invalid if this requirement is not met.
Click here for more details on how the new legislation affects Ending a Tenancy and Notices of Termination
Did you sign a fixed term lease?
In a fixed term lease, a Notice of Termination can be served for the following 3 reasons:
- There is a break clause in the lease agreement.
- Both parties agree to terminating the tenancy.
- The tenant breached their obligations and has been given reasonable time to rectify the breach, then 28-days notice is required.
The powers of the RTB to direct a tenant to vacate a property
Regardless of the circumstances of a case, a RTB adjudicator or Tribunal can only order a tenant to vacate a rented dwelling on the expiration of a valid Notice of Termination, which is fully in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.
What happens if a landlord does not contact the tenant to offer the property back where they were required to do so?
Tenants can apply for Dispute Resolution with the RTB if their previous rented accommodation is now re-let and not offered back as outlined above. A landlord could face damages of up to €20,000 to a tenant for breaches of their obligations or depriving him/her of the rented property A determination could also be made that the tenant be allowed to resume possession of the property.
The RTB can investigate and sanction landlords for failure to offer a tenant their tenancy back when required. The sanctions that may be imposed are a caution, a fine of up to €15,000 and costs of up to €15,000.