The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 amended section 3 of the Residential Tenancies 2004 Act so that dwellings let by approved housing bodies (AHBs) to social housing tenants now come within the remit of the Acts. The position of these tenants significantly improved by the change, which commenced on 7 April 2016, as they now benefit from the following:
- Increased security of tenure (under Parts 4/5 of the Acts);
- Access to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) dispute resolution procedures, including its mediation service (under Part 6 of the Acts);
- Binding obligations on AHBs as landlords to, inter alia, register all tenancies, keep dwellings in good repair and allow peaceful occupation.
A number of measures have been introduced in recent years with the objective of improving security of tenure for tenants. Security of tenure provisions under Part 4 of the Acts apply once a tenant has been in occupation of a dwelling for a continuous period of 6 months, with no valid notice of termination having been served during that time. A Part 4 tenancy may be terminated by a landlord or tenant, without reason, at the end of its 6 year term. Section 34 provides that a landlord must state a reason for the termination in any notice served, other than at the end of its six year term, in line with the grounds set out in section 34 of the Acts.
The Acts provide that a Part 4 tenancy can be terminated by a landlord during its term where:
- A tenant is non-compliant with their obligations;
- The dwelling is no longer suitable to the accommodation needs of the tenant;
- A landlord wishes to sell the property;
- A landlord requires the property for their own use of use by a family member;
- A landlord wishes to refurbish the property; or
- A landlord wishes to change the use of the dwelling.
The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 further enhances the security of tenure for tenants by significantly extending the duration of tenancy termination notice periods; for example, a minimum of 180 days (approx. 6 months) notice must be provided by landlords who terminate a tenancy of between 3 and 7 years’ duration. Termination notice periods of up to 224 days are required for tenancies of 8 or more years.
Duration of tenancy
New Notice Period
Less than 6 months
Not less than 6 monthS but less than 1 year
Not less than 1 year but less than 3 years
Not less than 3 years but less than 7 years
Not less than 7 years but less than 8 years
Not less than 8 years
In addition, further measures have been introduced to enhance and enforce tenancy termination provisions, including:
- the application of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB)'s new investigation and sanctioning regime to improper conduct by a landlord who contravenes the tenancy termination provisions; and
- a new requirement for landlords to copy a tenancy termination notice to the RTB.
The RTB provides comprehensive information relating to tenancy terminations by landlords, including approved housing bodies, at the following weblink - https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/ending-a-tenancy/how-a-landlord-can-end-a-tenancy/.