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New legislation provides for residential tenancies of unlimited duration

Conor Dunne



The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act, 2021 ("the 2021 Act"), will come into effect on 11 June 2022 The 2021 Act will amend existing legislation surrounding the so-called "Part 4 Tenancy." A Part 4 tenancy arises once a residential tenancy has run for at least six months without termination. Under previous legislation, a Part 4 tenancy could be terminated in two ways.
Firstly, a Part 4 tenancy could be terminated without reason at the end of a six-year cycle.

Secondly, a Part 4 tenancy could be terminated for one of the reasons set out in Section 34 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004. Those reasons are:-

1) If the Landlord requires the property for their own use or for the use of a family member;
2) If the Landlord intends to sell the property within nine months of terminating the tenancy;
3) If the Landlord intends to substantially refurbish the property;
4) The tenant is in breach of their obligations under the Lease;
5) The property is no longer suitable to the accommodation needs of the tenant;
6) The landlord intends to change the use of the dwelling.
Following the commencement of the 2021 Act on 11 June 2022, Landlords can no longer terminate a tenancy at the end of the six-year cycle and will be limited to termination on one of the grounds listed at 1-6 above. As a result, the 2021 Act paves the way for tenancies of unlimited duration.

It is important to note that the 2021 Act only applies to tenancies created on or after 11 June 2022 or where an existing tenancy is renewed on or after that date. All other tenancies remain subject to the old regime. However, Landlords may opt-in to the new regime under Section 5 (3) of the 2021 Act by notifying the tenant that they consent to the tenancy continuing for an unlimited duration.

If a tenancy created on or before the commencement of the 2021 Act expires and no termination notice has been served on the tenant, a new tenancy of unlimited duration stands created under Section 5 (4) of the 2021 Act.

The 2021 Act is a welcome amendment to legislation affording additional protection to people residing in rental property in Ireland and will afford further security of tenure.

Written by: Conor Dunne

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