I thank Deputy Ó Broin for his question. Since 1 August 2020, the Residential Tenancies and Valuation Act 2020, and its successor, the Planning and Development, and Residential Tenancies, Act 2020, enhance tenancy protections where a tenant is in rent arrears due to Covid-19 and at risk of losing his or her home and make the necessary declaration. Indeed, coincidentally, we were debating the extension of the protections in this very Chamber yesterday evening.
Since August last, a landlord is also legally required to serve both the RTB and the tenant with both a 28-day warning notice - a notice period that has been increased from 14 days - seeking payment of rent arrears and also any related notice of termination that might ensue. Otherwise, the notice of termination is unlawful. I am stating that because it was a permanent change that we made last year in the legislation, with effect from 1 August. That Bill did not have unanimous support at the time. It was opposed by some in the Opposition, which, in fairness, was their right. It is a permanent change. It is most important that we are flagging rent arrears from the earliest opportunity as it arises.
On receipt of the warning notice, the RTB will acknowledge receipt to the landlord and the tenant and will provide information to the tenant to enable her or him to get advice from Money Advice & Budgeting Service, MABS, on State income support, and will offer assistance to the tenant in obtaining this advice. The aim is to ensure that early action is taken to address rent arrears, to the benefit of both the tenant and the landlord.
As the Deputy correctly stated, the RTB received copies of 3,810 warning notices that landlords had issued to tenants in rent arrears. That is something that would not have happened but for the passing of the Acts last year that I brought forward. It also received copies of just over 1,120 notices of termination grounded on rent arrears. To put that in context, it relates to almost 300,000 tenancies. Perhaps I will expand on that and provide more detail on it, following the Deputy's supplementary question. It is an important issue and one which we must keep an eye on. I will speak more on it following the supplementary.