The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2021 (the 2021 Act) introduced tenancies of unlimited duration in order to enhance tenancy protection in Ireland. The 2021 Act was enacted by President Higgins on 11 December and will take effect on 11 June 2022. The Act will apply to new and renewed tenancies. View a previous MHC article on the Bill here.
New tenancies entered into after June 2022 will now convert after six months to tenancies of unlimited duration. In addition, where any existing tenancy is renewed after this time, it will also become a tenancy of unlimited duration.
Part 4 Tenancies
A ‘Part 4 tenancy’ comes into existence after a residential tenancy has run for a period of 6 months and no notice of termination has been served by the landlord during that time. A Part 4 tenancy entitles a tenant to remain in the property for a further five and a half years. That cycle can be terminated in limited circumstance relying on the grounds provided for in section 34 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. In addition, under the old Part 4 tenancy regime, which remains in force until June 2022, a landlord may terminate a tenancy for no reason at the end of the six-year cycle.
Tenancies of Unlimited Duration
The 2021 Act removes a landlord’s right to terminate for no reason all new Part 4 tenancies, created on or after 11 June 2022, after 6 years. The new measures will also apply to tenancies renewed after a six-year cycle. Accordingly, a landlord’s entitlement to terminate will be limited to the grounds provided for in section 34 namely:
- If they need the property for their own use or for a family member
- If they plan to change the use of the property
- If they plan to refurbish it substantially
- If they intend to sell it within nine months
- If the tenant is in breach, or
- If the property is no longer suited to the tenant’s needs
For Part 4 tenancies created before 11 June 2022, the old Part 4 regime still applies. Therefore, a landlord will still have a right to terminate those tenancies on the expiry of the 6-year cycle by serving the required notice in advance. Where the tenancy simply expires without the landlord serving a notice, then a tenancy of unlimited duration will arise. A landlord may opt-in at any stage to the new regime pursuant to section 28 (3) of the 2021 Act.
The new provision will give tenants greater security of tenure as a landlord may only terminate after the six-year cycle on the grounds set out under section 34 of the 2004 Act.
For more information on the residential tenancies, contact a member of our Dispute Resolution team.
The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.