The regulatory landscape of residential tenancies has undergone numerous developments over the last two decades. The most recent changes came into force on 6 July 2022 under the Regulation of Providers of Building Works and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2022 (2022 Act). The 2022 Act amends the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (2004 Act) by modifying landlord obligations and strengthening tenants’ rights. We highlight the key developments.
Longer Termination Notice Periods
The 2004 Act sets out distinct notice periods for terminations by landlords and tenants. The notice period required to be given by landlords for “non-breach” terminations of tenancies less than three years old has increased under the 2022 Act.
The notice periods for tenancies over 3 years old remain unchanged, as do the notice periods required to be given by tenants for all tenancies.
As a result, there is now a significant gap between notice periods required to be given by landlords and those by tenants where the duration of the tenancy is short term. For example, a tenant need only give 56 days’ notice of termination for a 2 year tenancy, whereas a landlord must give a minimum of 180 days’ notice.
New Service Requirements for Notice of Termination
Landlords are obliged to send a copy of any notice of termination to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) on the same day that it is served on the tenant. The 2022 Act provides that failure to comply with this obligation invalidates the notice.
New Obligation to Obtain Tenant’s Contact Details
In certain circumstances, landlords are obliged to give the previous tenant an option to re-let the property if it becomes available again within certain time periods. For example, where a landlord terminates to substantially refurbish or renovate the property. Previously, tenants had to provide their contact details to the landlord within 28 days to avail of this right to be offered a new tenancy.
The 2022 Act has shifted the burden from the tenant to the landlord, such that it is now the landlord’s responsibility to ensure they have made every reasonable effort to obtain the tenant’s contact details and offer it back where applicable.
If a landlord cannot contact a tenant having made reasonable enquiry, it may make a request in writing to the RTB seeking the contact details of the tenant. The RTB can now assist landlords in obtaining these details to facilitate a re-letting offer.
Landlords should familiarise themselves with these changes to ensure compliance before serving any notice of termination.
For further information, contact Lisa McCarthy or your usual William Fry contact.
Contributed by Martha Ní Dhochartaigh