How your landlord may end your tenancy
Please note that the law in relation to rent increases has been amended temporarily to protect tenants during the COVID-19 crisis. From Friday 27th March 2020 your landlord cannot end your tenancy during a three month emergency period until the end of June. If your tenancy is at risk contact Threshold immediately for advice. Click here for more on the new measures covering notices of termination nd rent increases.
Where a lease agreement exists, notice normally cannot be given to you unless you are in breach of your obligations as a tenant, there is a break clause or both you and the landlord agree at the time to end the tenancy. At the end of a lease, your landlord cannot simply end your tenancy. If you have been in the tenancy for more than 6 months and have not been served with a notice of termination you automatically acquire a' Part 4' Tenancy' and may remain in the tenancy for a further 5 ½ years. There is no legal obligation on your landlord to offer you a new lease or for you to sign a new lease and you cannot be given notice if you chose not to do so. Once the Part 4 tenancy expires you automatically move on to another 6-year cycle called a 'Further Part 4 tenancy' and so on.
A notice of termination of tenancy must be in writing. (email, text or a verbal noticeare not valid under the law). Notice may be issued in a number of ways
- Delivered personally
- Leaving it at the address where the person ordinarily resides
- By post (there is no special requirement for registered post)
- By affixing to the dwelling
It is an offence for a landlord/agent to knowingly take any action in reliance on an invalid notice of termination of tenancy that he/she knew or ought to have known was invalid.
The amount of notice that your landlord must give you depends on how long you have been in the tenancy. Below are the normal notice periods applicable from 4th June 2019:
|Length of Tenancy||Period of Notice|
|Less than 6 months||28 days|
|6 months or more, but less than 1 year||90 days|
|1 year or more but less than 3 years||120 days|
|3 years or more but less than 7 years||180 days|
|7 years or more but less than 8 years||196 days|
|8 or more years||224 days|
In some situations, shorter notice periods may be given to you by your landlord:
- 7 day's notice for serious anti-social behaviour or behaviour that is threatening to the fabric of the dwelling.
- For rent arrears it will depend upon whether you have a Part 4 tenancy or not:
Termination of a Tenancy due to rent arrears
Where your landlord wishes to end your tenancy due to rent arrears there is a process they must follow:
- Firstly you must be given written notification of the arrears and
- If after 14 days you have not paid the rent due to the landlord then your landlord can seek to end the tenancy by giving you at least 28 days written Notice of Termination.
Under normal circumstances, if there is no lease and your landlord wishes to terminate your tenancy in the first 6 months a reason does not have to be given but thereafter your landlord needs to have one of the following reasons:
Grounds for Termination a Part 4 or Further Part 4 Tenancy
There are six grounds set out in legislation upon which a landlord can end your Part 4 or Further Part 4 tenancy.
- Breach of obligations
You must first be given a warning of your breach and a reasonable opportunity to correct it before a minimum of 28 days' notice can be given.
The landlord can end your tenancy if they are entering into a contract to sell within 9 months and they must provide you with a signed statutory declaration to this effect. If no sale occurs within 9 months the landlord must offer it back to you.
From 17th January 2017 there is a restriction on situations where a landlord intends to sell 10 or more units in a development where you are residing within a six month period. The 'Tyrrelstown clause' requires the sale to be with you in situ unless the market value in doing this would be more than 20% less than selling with vacant possession and that in the particular circumstances the prohibition on selling would be unduly onerous or cause undue unfairness or undue hardship to the landlord. A statutory declaration must be provided.
- Dwelling is no longer suited to the needs of your household
There is currently no legal definition for overcrowding in private rented accommodation. If your landlord is ending your tenancy on this ground, then the notice must specify the number of bed spaces and the reason why the property is no longer suitable with regard to the bed spaces and your household composition.
- Property needed for landlord/family member
The landlord must provide a signed statutory declaration that they require the property back for their own or a family members use. If for a family member the notice must identify the person and their relationship to the landlord and the expected duration of the occupation. The notice must also inform you that should the property become available to rent again within 12 months then, providing you keep the landlord updated with your contact details you must be offered the tenancy back. You can use the template letter opposite to notify the landlord of your contact details within 28 days of the date of service of the notice and you should keep a record of this in case you need to take further action.
- Substantial Refurbishment or Renovation
Your landlord can give notice if vacant possession is required for the substantial refurbishment or renovation of the dwelling.Your landlord must provide a certificate from an architect or surveyor that the proposed work poses a health and safety risk requiring vacant possession and the work will take at least three weeks to complete.The notice must contain or be accompanied by a written statement specifying the nature of the work and if planning permission is required this must be included. Where no planning permission is required it should identify the contractor where relevant, the nature of the work and the proposed duration of the intended works. The statement must also inform you that the property is offered back to you upon completion of the work , providing you keep the landlord updated with your contact details . You can use the template letter opposite to notify the landlord of your contact details within 28 days of the date of service of the notice and keep a record of this in case you need to take further action.
Ending a tenancy for this reason does not justify a rent increase outside of the Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) rules of 4% which would require a change in the nature of the property.
- Change of Use
Your landlord can give notice if they intend to change the use of the dwelling. The notice must contain or be accompanied by a written statement specifying the nature of the change of use and if planning permission is required a copy. The statement should outline the nature of the work, contractor details and duration of the work , if relevant. It must also inform you that should the property become available to rent again within 12 months then, providing you keep the landlord updated with your contact details you are offered the tenancy back. You can use the template opposite to provide the landlord with your details within 28 days of the service of the notice and keep a record of this in case you need to take further action.
What if the landlord uses a ground to get me out and re-rents the property to someone else?
If your landlord terminates your tenancy on one of the grounds above and does not carry through with the reason or offer the property back to you within the time period specified where required then you can refer a dispute to the RTB for damages on the grounds that you have been unjustly deprived of possession of the property by the landlord.
For a notice to be valid it must:
- Be in writing (email,text or verbal notice are not valid)
- Be signed by the Landlord or by his/her agent
- Specify the date of service
- State the reason for termination (where a tenancy has lasted more than 6 months)
- Specify the termination date on or before which you should leave and state that you have the full 24 hours to vacate. You can leave before this date and should try to give the landlord reasonable notice and are liable for rent up to when you leave.
- State that an issue as to its validity of the notice or the right of the landlord to serve it must be referred to the Residential Tenancies Board with 28 days of receipt of the notice.
The RTB have a number of sample notices on their website that your landlord can use to end your tenancy click here to access them.
What to do
- If you have received a written notice of termination of tenancy and are unsure as to whether or not it is valid, contact your local Threshold office immediately.
- If the notice is invalid, you should inform your landlord in writing that you will not be complying with the notice. Use the template letter in the Useful Downloads section of this page.
- If you wish to challenge the notice you must refer a dispute to the RTB within 28 days of receipt of the notice and can remain in the property until a decision is made by the RTB.