After much media coverage and following talks of a constitutional challenge, the Cabinet has approved legislation staying the termination of certain residential tenancies during the winter period. The legislation is expected to be enacted in the coming days.
The current Bill seeks to avoid increased homelessness and to “assist in managing demands on housing services”. During the COVID-19 pandemic various pieces of legislation were introduced with a similar aim.
Features of the ban
The new provisions will be temporary and conditional rather than a blanket ban. The following is understood from the press release issued by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage on 18 October 2022 and the Bill published on 20 October 2022 (Residential Tenancies (Deferment of Termination Dates of Certain Tenancies) Bill 2022):
- The ban will apply to “no fault terminations” and defer such terminations from taking effect until after 31 March 2023 on a phased basis. No fault terminations include where a landlord intends to sell the property, the landlord requires the property for his own or family use or the landlord intends to substantially refurbish the property or change its use.
- The ban will not apply to terminations grounded in arrears of rent, anti-social behaviour or other breaches of the tenant’s obligations.
- No fault termination notices served during the relevant period will be subject to a “deferred” termination date. The date is referrable to when the notice of termination would have expired in the ordinary course coupled with how long the tenant has been in occupation. The Bill includes a table of relevant dates. This phased approach is to avoid a “cliff edge”.
- The legislation will also cover licences / tenancies in student specific accommodation and student tenancies in the general rental market.
- Tenants will not accrue any rights under Part 4 of the primary legislation due to this temporary legislation.
Tenant obligations remain
Importantly, the new legislation will not relieve tenants of their obligations as they stand. According to the Bill it shall not apply where “there is a failure by the tenant to comply with one of his or her obligations”.
A comprehensive note will follow once the legislation has been enacted.
Our annual Built Environment - Landlord & Tenant Update webinar will take place on 9 November 2022 and it will address this new legislation and other issues.
The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.