On the 24 May 2019 the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 (the Act) was signed into law bring into force what has become the annual changes to residential lettings in Ireland to fix the housing crisis.
The Act has added additional rules on landlords who want to terminate tenancies.
The Act added to the already long notice periods and landlords must be careful when calculating the required number of days in addition to sending copies to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
Where a landlord wishes to sell the property the landlord must enter into a contract for sale of the relevant property within 9 months of the termination date.
If a landlord requires the property for their own occupation and vacates the property within 1 year, the property must be offered back to the former tenant.
When a landlord intends to carry out substantial refurbishment, requiring vacant possession (certified by a professional) for three weeks or more, the property must be offered back to the former tenant on completion of the renovation works.
If a property becomes available for reletting within 12 months of the termination on grounds of change of use, a landlord will be obliged to offer the property back to the tenant.
The existing RPZ designations will be extended to 2021. The number of RPZ's at the timer of writing are 42. The up-to-date position should always be checked before carrying out a review and care taken if you are intending to rely on an exemption. Notice must also be served on the RTB within 1 month of setting the new rent.
"Substantial change" has been defined and the definition is not straight forward. However, it does bring clarity.
The restriction on rent reviews to every two years has been extended to the end of 2021.
New offences for breaches of the new as well as the old provisions have been provided along with a definition of ‘Improper conduct’.
Financial penalties of up to €15,000 can be levied along with the continuing risk of criminal sanction.
Additional fees and cumbersome additional filing requirements are on the way but will be accompanied by an "online portal".
The Act intends to catch student accommodation, even if granted under licence and is communal/co-living set-ups where a bedroom only is let or licensed to a student.
Part 4 security of tenure provisions and subletting will not apply to student accommodation.
Short-term letting regulations
Short-term letting regulations intend to increase the number of long-term rental properties available in RPZs and to reduce the number of short-term lettings in those areas, namely lettings or licences for any period not exceeding 14 days. The effect of the new regulations is that short-term lettings in RPZs will be deemed a material change of use and require planning permission, with some exceptions that will need to be carefully looked at should this be an issue for your property.