Industry Information

30th March 2017

Rent Pressure Zones now include electoral area of Maynooth  including Clane and large parts of Kildare,  and electoral area of Cobh – including areas to the east and north of Cork city such as Glanmire and Carrigtwohill.

22nd February 2017

RTB have developed a rent increase calculator Link

31st January 2017

New Housing Standards 

New Regulations entitled the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 17/2017) come into force on the 1st of July 2017. The commencement date has been deferred in order to allow landlords the time to carry out any remedial improvements / works which may be necessary to bring their properties into compliance with the revised regulations.

Main Provisions of the new Regulations:
The main changes to the 2009 Regulations are contained in those provisions dealing with structural condition, heating facilities and fire safety, – Articles 4, 7 and 10.
• Article 4 amends the regulations to include the provision:
Where a window which has an opening section through which a person may fall and the bottom of the opening section is more than 1400mm above the external ground level, suitable safety restrictors shall be fitted.
• Article 6 provides that:
All bathrooms and shower rooms must have adequate heating, the revised regulations also make a provision for the detection and alarm of carbon monoxide and that all heating appliances shall be maintained in a safe condition and in good working order and repair.
• Article 10 has been reworded in order to avoid confusion around the need for interconnecting alarms and regulations covering common areas.

Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017

27th January 2017

New Rental Zone Designated Areas effective from the 27th January 2017

1. Ballincollig-Carrigaline, Co Cork
2. Galway City Central
3. Galway City East
4. Galway City West
5. Celbridge-Leixlip, Co Kildare
6. Naas, Co Kildare
7. Kildare-Newbridge
8. Ashbourne Co Meath
9. Laytown-Bettystown, Co Meath
10. Ratoath, Co Meath
11. Bray , Co Wicklow
12. Wicklow, Co Wicklow

Maps have been issued to clarify the zones and can be accesses RPZs_All Maps_26 January 2017

20th January 2017

Clarification Notice Issued at the Request of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

In order to ensure complete compliance with Section 4 of the Competition Act 2002, and following representation from the CCPC regarding a possible infringement in the Press Release issued by the IPOA on the 16th December 2016, IPOA wish to point out that in the interest of complete clarity and as a responsible representative body, the Press Release referred to is retracted

Update 18th January 2017

2016 Act Amendment to Residential Tenancies 2004 Act      Commencement Date
Section 33 New landlord obligation under Section 12 of the 2004 Act – the requirement for a landlord of a tenancy in a rent pressure zone, which commences on or after 24 December 2016, to inform the tenant in writing of the amount and date the rent was last set under a tenancy for the dwelling and how the rent was set having regard to section 19(4) and the new rent predictability formula          24 December 2016
Section 34 New Section 19(4) – rent predictability formula         24 December 2016
Section 35 Amendment to section 22 (Rent Review Notice) and the requirement to state the new rent and how the rent was set having regard to section 19(4) and the new rent predictability formula         24 December 2016
Section 36 New Section 24A, 24B and 24C in respect of Rent Pressure Zones         24 December 2016
Section 37 Extension of Part 4 tenancy cycle from 4 years to 6 six years         24 December 2016
Section 38 Amendment to Section 34, with cross reference to the new Section 35A         17 January 2017
Section 39 Amendment to Section 35(8) in respect of certain information to accompany a Notice of Termination where a landlord relies on the intention to sell ground when terminating under section 34.  This amendment reflects the requirement to furnish a tailored Statutory Declaration to accompany a notice of termination where 10 or more dwellings in a development, which are the subject of tenancies, are being terminated.         17 January 2017
Section 40 New Section 35A – restriction on terminating certain tenancies (10 or more units in a development).  Where a landlord is seeking to sell 10 or more units within a single development in a period of six months, the sale will be subject to the existing tenants remaining in situ, other than in exceptional circumstances (which must be reflected in the statutory declaration)         17 January 2017
Section 41 Repeal of Section 42 – abolition on terminating in first six months of Further Part 4 tenancy for no stated ground     17 January 2017
Section 42 Amendment to Section 62 to reflect the changes to terminating in the first six months of a Further Part 4 tenancy     17 January 2017
Section 43 Amendment to Section 100 – reducing the time period for appeals to a Tribunal of the RTB from 21 days to 10 working days     17 January 2017
Section 46 Insertion of a new Section 114A relating to the quarterly publication of certain statistics by the RTB     24 December 2016
Section 47 Amendment to Section 115 and redress that may be granted in a Determination Order to reflect changes to rent reviews in a Rent Pressure Zone     24 December 2016
Section 50 Amendment to Section 151 and additional functions of the RTB in respect of making reports to the Minister on rent pressure zones and the publication of certain statistics by the RTB on a quarterly basis     24 December 2016
Schedule – Part 1 Consequential amendments to reflect changes to Part 4 and six year tenancy cycles       17 January 2017
Schedule – Part 2 Consequential amendments to reflect changes arising from the repeal of Section 42 and the abolition on terminating in the first six months of a Further Part 4 tenancy for no stated ground       17 January 2017

 13th December 2017

Guidance notes on recent legislative changes attached 2017-1-13 Guidance Notes on Legislative Changes

23rd December 2016

The President signed the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Bill 2016 on the 23rd December, as of midnight on the 23rd a number of new provisions commence;

  1. Rent Predictability Measures
  2. 4 year tenancies to be replaced by 6 year tenancies
  3. Quarterly publication of Dispute Resolution Timelines.

The remaining amendments will come into force by commencement orders after Christmas.

More information 

 

14th December 2016

Rent Control The Death Knell of the Private Rental Sector 

Property Owners’ Association IPOA call on Government to review the measures being put forward to re-introduce rent control and further restriction in the sector, as it will further deplete the supply of properties as property owners withdraw units through unaffordability to manage or maintain. Government currently take up to 64% of rent directly from rental income, and rather than playing politics, face reality and listen to the practitioners in the sector and encourage supply.

IPOA have continually warned Government over the years not to reintroduce this unacceptable burden on the private rental sector. This was found unconstitutional in the Supreme Court in 1981 and should never be reintroduced.
Gross interference in the role of the private rental sector, impose further restrictions on periods of time that rent can be increased and amounts of the increase which is not fair or equitable and moves to a point where the landlord is being forced out of the provision of accommodation for tenants as a result of interference. The lack of sensitivity to the partnership approach which IPOA have featured all along as the basis that equitability applies to both landlords and tenants.

It also endeavours to smother the true problem that exists, the lack of accommodation available, due to the inactivity of the Government to provide adequate investment in this area, and who by their actions are making the private residential landlords of Ireland suffer for this incompetence. Continual interference in the rental market is damaging and will result in less investment going forward.

Stephen Faughnan, Chairman of IPOA once again calls on “Politicians to extend the hand of friendship to property owners in the interest of tenants affordability of accommodation. All that is necessary is co-operation and understanding and treat the sector as a business. Short term interference causes long term difficulties undermining the confidence of prospective investors.” Faughnan goes on to say “The State has caused the rental crisis and continual interference is making it worse, a typical example is the rent control introduced by Minister Kelly just complicated the market and increased rents”

Stephen Faughnan
Chairman

The Strategy can be viewed here

Budget Update 12-10-2016

Living City Incentive (LCI)
A number of amendments are being made to the Living City Initiative. The principal amendments provide for the extension of the residential element of the initiative to lessors and the removal of the floor area restrictions. Further details concerning this measure will be contained in the Finance Bill.
Mortgage Interest Relief Residential Investments
The rate of tax relief for interest on borrowings used in the purchase, improvement or repair of residential rental property is increased from 75% to 80% in respect of interest accruing on or after 1 January 2017. It will increase by 5% every subsequent year until it reaches 100%.
Home Renovation Incentive (HRI)
The Home Renovation Incentive is extended for two more years, to end on 31 December 2018. This will allow additional time for landlords and homeowners to make the necessary renovations to their properties, and provide additional support to the construction sector for another two years.
Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT)
Tax-free Thresholds The Capital Acquisitions Tax Group tax-free thresholds are increased as follows:
Threshold Existing Level New Level A applies where the beneficiary is a child (including adopted child, step-child and certain foster children) or is a minor child of a deceased child of the disponer. Parents also fall within this threshold where they take an inheritance of an absolute interest from a child. Increased from €280,000 to €310,000
B applies where the beneficiary is a brother, sister, a nephew, a niece or lineal ancestor or lineal descendant of the disponer. Increased from €30,150 to €32,500
C applies in all other cases. Increased from €15,075 to €16,250
The new Group tax-free thresholds apply to gifts and inheritances taken on or after 12 October 2016.

More information on the budget budget-summary-2017 (1)

19th July 2016

The Government Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness was issued.   The plan can be viewed Rebuilding Ireland_Action Plan for Housing Homelessness.

 

9th May 2016

Changes have been made to some Notices of Termination.  Rent increases notices have become more complex.

Terminating Tenancies – additional requirements 

Amendments Sections 34 and 35  as detailed below:
(i) Insufficient Bedspaces – a written statement must accompany the Notice of Termination specifying the bed spaces in the dwelling and setting out grounds as to why the dwelling is no longer suitable having regard to the bed spaces and the size and composition of the occupying household.
(ii) Selling within 3 months of the termination of the tenancy – the three month period must be set out in the Notice and the Notice must be accompanied by a Statutory Declaration confirming this intention. The Statutory Declaration must contain a declaration that the landlord intends to enter into an enforceable agreement to transfer to another, for full consideration, of the whole of his or her interest in the dwelling or the property containing the dwelling.
(iii) Property needed  for own or family use – the Notice must be accompanied by a Statutory Declaration confirming the intended occupant’s identity and (if not the landlord) their relationship to the landlord and the expected duration of that occupation. The statutory declaration must also confirm that the landlord is required to offer a tenancy to the tenant if the contact details under Section 35 of the Act are provided and the dwelling is vacated within a period of 6 months from the termination date (or if there is a dispute, within 6 months of the final determination of the dispute), and the tenancy has not otherwise been validly terminated by virtue of grounds 1, 2, 3, or 6 of the Table to Section 34.
(iv) Substantially refurbishment or renovation reason – a written statement must accompany the Notice of Termination specifying the nature of the intended works to be carried out and where planning permission is required a copy is to be provided. Where not planning permission is required the statement must set out the name of the contractor (if any), the dates on which the works are to be carried out and the proposed duration of those works. The statement must also confirm that the landlord is required to offer a tenancy to the tenant if the contact details under Section 35 of the Act are provided and the dwelling is vacated within a period of 6 months from the termination date (or if there is a dispute, within 6 months of the final determination of the dispute), and the tenancy has not otherwise been validly terminated by virtue of grounds 1, 2, 3, or 6 of the Table to Section 34.
(v) Change of Use reason – a statement must accompany the notice of termination specifying the nature of the intended use and where planning permission is required to provide a copy of the permission. The statement must provide details of the works to be carried out, identify the contractor, if any, and the dates and expected duration of the works.
(vi) Breach of Obligations reason – one of the parties has failed to comply with their obligations, they must first be notified of the breach and given an opportunity to remedy it.

Rent Reviews
Remainder of Section 26 of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 is to be enacted, i.e. 26(1)(a)(ii) & (iii), 26(1)(b) which relate to:
The rent review notice is required to comply with the form prescribed by the Minister.
• It must state the amount of new rent and the date from which is to have effect.
• It must include a statement that a dispute in relation to the setting of the rent must be referred to the Residential Tenancies Board before the date stated in the notice as the date from which the new rent is to have effect or the expiry of 28 days from the receipt by the tenant of that notice, which ever is later.
• Include a statement by the landlord that it is their opinion that the new rent is not greater than market rent having regard to –
o The other terms of the tenancy
o Letting values of dwellings of a similar size, type and character and situated in a comparable area
• Specify the rent amount for three comparable dwellings of a similar size, type and character and situated in a comparable area
•Include the date on which the notice is signed
• Signed by the landlord or his/her authorised agent

3. Anti-Social Behaviour
Section 36 which amends section 77 of the principle act.
A third party may refer a case to the RTB in relation to anti-social behaviour where the following conditions are met:
 The third party are or were directly and adversely affected by the landlords failure to enforce their tenants obligations in relation to anti –social behaviour
 The third party took all reasonable steps to resolve the matter by
o Communicating or attempting to communicate with the landlord or former landlord or
o Requesting one of the following to communicate with the landlord or former landlord on their behalf
 An owners’ management company in a multi-unit development
 A body corporate
 A body of persons who have as one of their principle objectives the promotion of the safety and security of the dwellings and the persons residing in the vicinity of the dwelling containing the tenancy concerned, such as a residents association or a neighbourhood watch group.

Update 7th April 2016

Approved Housing Bodies (AHB) (include Housing Associations and Co-operatives) are now under the remit of the Residential Tenancies Board.  The name changed because they no longer deal solely with private rented tenancies.

Update 1st March 2016 

More Amendments Commenced

The main ones include
• The 2 step notice of termination for rent arrears;
• An award of costs not to exceed €1,000;
• The option to refuse jurisdiction on “frivolous” grounds;
• 10 day cooling-off period for agreements reached at mediation and adjudication and insertion of a new Section 96 (procedures to follow after mediation);
• Allowing, on application, a reduction in the Tribunal hearing notification period where a party indicates there is financial or other hardship;
• Board membership at a maximum of 12;
• Quorum for Board meetings reduced to 4;
• Separation of governance and dispute resolution function of the Board and DRC (excluding the Chairperson);
• DRC shall now consist of 45 members, including the Chairperson;
• Legal costs, expenses and other professional costs shall not exceed €5,000;
• The awarding of costs in the PRTB’s favour under Section 115(2)(i) and Section 190(2)(b) has been repealed;
• Section 126 has been repealed – criminal sanction in respect of a failure to comply with a DO;
• Section 88 is amended providing the Board will discretion to extend time to permit an Appeal under Section 100 on receipt of good grounds for financial or other hardship

Update 2016-1-18 Free Mediation

  • Section 42  PRTB Mediation Service for disputes between landlords and tenants is free.
  • Section 30 (minor omission) in a Notice of Termination applies to notice served after this period.

From 1st January 2016 a landlord cannot discriminate against a person in receipt of rent supplement, housing assistance or any payment under the Social Welfare Acts.

Update 16th December 2015  Rent Increase 

Rent Increases can only be every 24 months for the next 4 years and the notice period of the rent increase has changed from 28 days to 90 days; give a few days more to be sure of compliance.

There is no change to the mechanism for setting/reviewing rents as yet. The new requirements in relation to the similar properties etc. are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2016.

The new requirements include:-
 Amount of new rent and date of effect.
 Statement that a dispute on rent can be referred to PRTB by the date of effect or 28 days from receipt.
 Include a statement as to why it is not greater than market rent with regard to
• a) terms of tenancy
• b) letting value of similar size, type and character
• ii) comparable area
 Specify the rent sought for 3 similar dwellings advertised in the previous 4 weeks
 Be signed by the landlord / agent

 

Notice of Termination Periods

The notice of Termination periods   as of the 4th December 2015 are outlined in the table below:-

Duration of Tenancy                               Landlord Number of Days   Tenant Number of Days
Less than 6 months                                                          28                                   28
6 months or more but less than a year                               35                                   35
1 year or more but less than 2 years                                 42                                   42
2 years or more but less than 3 years                               56                                   56
3 years or more but less than 4 years                               84                                   56
4 years or more but less than 5 years                               112                                 84
5 years or more but less than 6 years                               140                                 84
6 years or more but less than 7 years                               168                                 84
7 years or more but less than 8 years                               196                                 84
8 years or more                                                               224                                112

 

10th November 2015  The Government have announced new measures for the Private Rental Sector.  The unwarranted interference in the private rental market will cause long term damage to the sector.  More details can be found here Stabilising Rents Boosting Supply

Rent Control Threatened

Minister Kelly has indicated that he is working on a measure he calls “Rent Certainty”, which is in fact rent control.  Rent control was found to be unconstitutional previously:-

In  Blake v. The Attorney General [1982] I.R. 117 the Supreme Court held (inter alia) that Part 2 of the Rent Restrictions Act, 1960, which restricted the amounts of the rents payable to their landlords by tenants of controlled dwellings, was invalid having regard to the provisions of the Constitution of Ireland, 1937, in that those provisions constituted an unjust attack on the property rights of certain landlords contrary to Article 40, s. 3, sub-s. 2, of the Constitution since those provisions restricted the exercise of the property rights of one group of citizens for the benefit of another group in a manner which failed to provide compensation for the first group and which disregarded the financial capacity or needs of the members of the groups.

Rent control reduces the supply of accommodation and quality of accommodation and the uncertainty around the sector reduces confidence in the sector.

What is needed is more property and Government needs to put in place  economic conditions where investors want to invest.  The tax treatment of the sector is resulting in landlords leaving the sector.  Treat the sector as a business.

LICENSING OF PROPERTY SERVICE PROVIDERS

The Property Services Regulatory Authority was established on a statutory basis on 3 April 2012.

One of the main functions of the Authority is the licensing of Property Services Providers.

A person does not need a licence from this Authority to let or sell their own property/land.  Not requiring to be licensed extends to partners where a partnership is involved, and to the Directors of company where a company is involved.  Employees of a partnership or company would require to be licensed if they let the property.

The Authority took over the licensing of Auctioneers/Estate Agents and Letting Agents and introduce the new licensing regime for Management Agents with effect from the 6th July, 2012.

A Guide to Licensing is available on their website www.npsra.ie clarification is available directly from them.

It is vitally important that people  are aware of their responsibility when letting property, and if in doubt contact;-

Property Services Regulatory Authority
Abbey BuildingsAbbey Road
Navan
Co Meath

Telephone: 046-9033800
Fax: 046-9033888
Lo-Call: 1890-252712
Email: info@psr.ie

 

IPOA Presentation to Joint Committee on Environment

The IPOA made a presentation to the Joint Committee on Environment. To view the presentation click here

 

 

Regulation of Gas Installers

Regulations were enacted under the authority of the Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006, which make it an offence for any individual to undertake domestic natural gas work, unless they are registered with the recently appointed Register of Gas Installers of Ireland Ltd (RGII). The RGII is responsible for conducting regular inspections of all Registered Gas Installers’ work, to ensure that he/she is complying with the current national standard.

Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 provides that all electricity and gas installations, be maintained in good repair and safe working order. It is strongly recommended that all home owners/landlords, who have domestic natural gas appliances, get them regularly serviced by a Registered Gas Installer. The current National Standard is IS 813 for domestic Gas Installations.

IPOA SURVEY

In 2002, Millward Brown IMS were commissioned by the IPOA to carry out a survey on private rental sector. A copy of this report can be downloaded here