The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019

 

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019

 

On the 4th June 2019, parts of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 became effective, which introduced a number of amendments to the current residential tenancies legislation It’s aim is to give more rights to tenants.

 

Landlords and Tenants should make themselves aware of the amendments. In particular Landlords should be aware of the sanctioning regime which will apply to improper conduct of the Landlord. We have set out some of the changes below.

 

  1. A Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) is a designated area where rents cannot be increased by more than 4% per annum. This applies to new and existing tenancies (unless an exemption is being applied).

The designation of existing RPZs will be extended to the end of 2021.

The exemptions from the 4% p.a. rent increase restriction in RPZs have been revised so to apply only to the first rent setting, rather than every rent setting, during the   period of RPZ designation in respect of a new rental property, including a property that had not be rented in the 2 year period prior to any RPZ designation.

For the purposes of assessing whether a Local Electoral Area should be designated as a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ), there are now three standardised average rents that will be used.

Dublin areas will remain comparable to the national standarised average rent.

The ‘Greater Dublin Area’ (Kildare, Wicklow, Meath), excluding Dublin, will be compared to a new criteria which is the national standardised average rent excluding Dublin.

The rest of the country – areas outside ‘The Greater Dublin Area’ and Dublin – will be compared to an ‘outside GDA’ standardised average rent.

The Act also provides a legal definition of what constitutes substantial change in the nature of accommodation provided under a tenancy in the context of qualifying for an exemption from the rent increase restriction. Under existing legislation, such a change allows landlords to avoid the rent increase restrictions in RPZs. – such works shall consist of either a permanent extension increasing the floor area by 25% or at least 3 of the following; (a) a permanent alteration of the internal layout, (b) adaptations for persons with a disability, (c) a permanent increase in the number of rooms, (d) an improvement in the BER by 2 or more ratings.

 

2. The notice periods that a landlord must give when terminating a tenancy have been increased.

Duration of Tenancy                                   Notice Period

Less than 6 months                                              28 days

Not less than 6 months but less than 1year     90 days

Not less than 1year but less than 3 years        120 days

Not less than 3 years but less than 7 years      180 days

Not less than 7 years but less than 8 years      196 days

Not less than 8 years                                            224 days

 

3.  Where a landlord terminates a tenancy because they intend to sell the property, they must enter into a contract for sale within 9 months of the termination date and if not, must offer to re-let to a former tenant who provides their contact details.

Where a landlord terminates a tenancy because they need the property for their own occupation or for a family member, that property must be offered back to the former tenant who provides their contact details where it again becomes vacant within 1 year of the termination date.

Where a landlord terminates a tenancy because they need to substantially refurbish/renovate the property, that property must be offered back to the former tenant who provides their contact details, upon completion of the works.

There is additional criteria which a landlord must satisfy and provide when issuing the notice of termination.

The notice must:

  1. state if planning permission is required,
  2. state the name of the contractor (if any),
  3. the date on which intended works are to be carried out, and
  4. the proposed duration of the works.

Also a certificate from of a registered professional (within the meaning of the Building Control Act 2007) will be required to the effect that the proposed substantial refurbishment/renovation works in question would pose a health and safety risk requiring vacation by the tenants and would require at least 3 weeks to complete.

 

If you require any assistance on this or any other property related matters please contact Lorna McArdle on 01 2960666