In recent weeks the Minister for the Environment has signed orders commencing several provisions of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 (the “Act”), which makes it an opportune time to look at some of the changes to termination provisions brought in by the Act. 

Changes to Notice Periods

The appropriate notice periods for termination have been amended and are set out in the tables below:

Termination by Landlord

Click here to view the table.

Termination by Tenant 

Click here to view the table.

Grounds for Termination

The grounds for termination of a Part 4 Tenancy are set out in Section 34 of the Act. A tenancy may be terminated if:

  • the tenant has failed to comply with the obligations under the lease 
  • the landlord intends to sell the dwelling within the next three months
  • the landlord requires the dwelling for their own occupation or that of a family member (if the property is required for a member of landlord's family, the notice must state the identity of person and their relationship to landlord)
  • vacant possession is required for substantial refurbishment of the dwelling (any such notice must specify the nature of the work and if planning permission is required this must be included
  • the landlord intends to change the use of the dwelling (information regarding the intended change of use must be included)

Where the landlord requires vacant possession for their own occupation, for refurbishment or where they intend to change the use of the dwelling, the landlord must give additional information to back up the ground upon which they are terminating and, provided the tenant keeps the landlord up-to-date with his/her contact details, the landlord should offer the property back to the tenant if the property becomes available for re-letting within 6 months of the termination of the lease.

If landlords wish to evict a tenant on the grounds that they intend to sell the property they must sign a statutory declaration that they are actually doing so. This is an attempt to ensure that landlords do not simply use the particular ground as a mechanism to evict the tenant in order to later put a new tenant in place at a higher rent.   

Key takeaway for landlords

As the notice periods have in generally increased, parties to a lease who wish to terminate the agreement should ensure that they are aware of the strict time frames provided in the Act. In the event that inadequate notice is given, this could delay the termination of the lease significantly.

For more on this topic, please see our article on Hennessy v PRTB and John McStay, Receiver which deals with failure to comply with the requirements of the Act regarding the content of the termination notice.