Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (96)

Mick Barry


96. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will meet persons facing eviction residing in apartments (details supplied) as requested. [9705/18]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Security of tenure provisions under the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2016 apply once a tenant has been in occupation of a dwelling for a continuous period of 6 months, with no notice of termination having been served during that time. Section 34 provides that a landlord must state a reason for the termination in any notice served. The reason must be one of those set out in section 34; for example, that vacant possession is required for substantial refurbishment of the dwelling.

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Acts to operate a national tenancy registration system and to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants.  Section 56 of the Act provides that, where there is an abuse of the termination procedure in section 34, a tenant may bring a complaint to the RTB on the basis that they have been unjustly deprived of possession of a dwelling by their landlord. 

Notice periods for the termination of a tenancy by a landlord vary, depending on the duration of the tenancy, but periods of up to 224 days are required.  If a landlord is terminating the tenancy on the grounds that he or she intends to substantially refurbish or renovate the dwelling in a way that requires the dwelling to be vacated for that purpose, the notice of termination must include a statement;

(a)    specifying the nature of the intended works and providing a copy of any related planning permission. Where planning permission is not required, the notice or statement must specify the name of the contractor and the proposed dates for the works.

(b)   that the landlord is required to offer to the tenant a tenancy of the dwelling if it becomes available for re-letting within a period of 6 months, subject to certain conditions.

On 23 November 2017, the RTB published a comprehensive set of guidelines on what constitutes substantial refurbishment or renovation for the purposes of a section 34 ground for tenancy termination. The guidelines are available on the RTB website at the following link: https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/images/uploads/Comms%20and%20Research/RTB_Guidelines_for_good_practice_on_the_substantial_change_exemption_in_Rent_Pressure_Zones.pdf

I have asked my Department to keep under review whether there is value in placing these guidelines on a statutory footing.

As this is a matter between landlord and tenant, it would be inappropriate for me to intervene or comment on any specific case.

Question No. 97 answered with Question No. 38.