Tenancies of Unlimited Duration
On 11 June 2022, Tenancies of Unlimited Duration were introduced into law providing more security of tenure for tenants. It means that, after six months living in a tenancy, the tenant has the right to remain in the property for an unlimited duration. This is subject to the tenant upholding their rental obligations and the landlord’s right to end the tenancy in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (RTA).
A ‘winter emergency period’, following the enactment of The Residential Tenancies (Deferment of Termination Dates of Certain Tenancies) Act 2022 on 29 October 2022 means certain tenancies which were due to come to an end between 30 October 2022 and 31 March 2023 will have the tenancy end date deferred. If the above protections mean a tenant gets to stay in the rented property for longer than 6 months, the tenant will not acquire Part 4 tenancy rights. Please click here to read more.
- A landlord no longer has this right of termination every 6 years. A tenancy can now only end where a landlord serves a valid notice relying on formal termination grounds as set out in the RTA.
- All new tenancies created on or after 11 June 2022 automatically become Tenancies of Unlimited Duration when:
- the tenant has lived in rental property for six consecutive months,
- a valid Notice of Termination has not been served.
- Tenancies already in existence before 11 June 2022, will continue under the existing security of tenure rules until the end of the current six-year cycle of the tenancy. The landlord is still entitled to end these tenancies at the end of the six-year period without providing a reason. However, once the current cycle has ended, they will become Tenancies of Unlimited Duration and may only be terminated under the specific reasons for ending a tenancy. If a tenancy is ended, any new tenancy created will become a Tenancy of Unlimited Duration based on the above requirements.
- If, on the 11 June 2022 a tenancy is already in existence, Landlords and Tenants are encouraged to and can agree to switch from a six-year cycle to a Tenancy of Unlimited Duration. Please click here to download a consent notice.
Prior to 11 June 2022, once a 'Part 4 Tenancy' existed, the tenant was entitled to live in the tenancy in six-year cycles. Unless the tenancy is terminated in accordance with the law at the end of that 6-year period, the tenant will have acquired ‘further Part 4 tenancy’ rights – the right to stay in the property for another 6-year period. These 6-year cycles will have continued unless the tenancy was validly terminated.
As set out above, once the six-year cycle was coming to a close, the landlord was entitled to end a tenancy for any reason (the requirement is that the Notice of Termination is served prior to the end of the six years and the notice period must expire on or after then end of the ‘further Part 4’ tenancy). If the landlord wanted to continue with the tenancy after six years, it would enter a new six-year cycle (known as a further Part 4) and the same rules applied.
After the 11 June 2022, the six-year cycle has been replaced by Tenancies of Unlimited Duration. The landlord can no longer end the tenancy at the end of a six-year cycle for any reason.
Security of Tenure and Ending a Tenancy
A tenant who is renting for at least six months and has not been served a written Notice of Termination of tenancy automatically acquires security of tenure. This is referred to as a ‘Part 4 Tenancy’. A landlord can only end a tenancy that is greater than 6 months on limited grounds:
- Breach of obligation by the tenant;
- Failure by the tenant to pay rent;
- The property is no longer suitable for the accommodation needs of the tenant and of any persons residing with him/ her;
- The landlord intends to sell the property within 9 months of termination;
- The landlord requires the property for his/ her own occupation or occupation by a family member;
- The landlord intends to substantially refurbish or renovate the property.
- The landlord intends to change the use of the property.
- The Landlord intends to end the tenancy before a Further Part 4 tenancy is created for any reason
Ground 5 does not apply to AHB tenancies. Grounds 4 - 7 do not apply to Cost Rental tenancies. Ground 8 no longer applies to Tenancies of Unlimited Duration.
If a landlord or a tenant wish to end a tenancy, they must in all cases (regardless of the circumstances) serve a valid Notice of Termination giving the required period of notice. Landlord’s are required to submit a copy of the notice of termination to the RTB within required timelines. Please click here for information on terminating a tenancy and sample Notices of Termination which contain the details required to comply with the law.
Tenants (and licensees) of student specific accommodation and tenants in other limited circumstances are not protected by ‘Part 4 tenancy’ rights. Therefore changes introduced by Tenancies of Unlimited Duration don't impact Student Specific Accommodation. Please click here for further details on security of tenure.