Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 was signed into law on the 27th March. It includes changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency. A copy of the Act is available for review HERE
The emergency is defined as the period of three months commencing on the 27th March 2020, and that period can be increased if necessary, to extend the emergency period for such period as they consider appropriate, having regard to—
(i) the threat to public health presented by Covid-19,
(ii) the highly contagious nature of that disease, and
(iii) the need to restrict the movement of persons in order to prevent the spread of the disease among the population and the making of such order is in the public interest.
Who does it Cover?
It covers tenancies under the Residential Tenancies Act including student licence situations.
Notices of Termination
- No notice of termination may be served during the emergency period.
- Notices served prior to the emergency period will have a revised termination date. The emergency period is added (which is at least three months and may be extended) to the existing termination date.
- Notices of terminations that have been determined to be valid by the RTB (at Adjudication or Tribunal) for breach of obligation are effective and the date of these terminations still stand.
- Where a notice of termination has already been served that ends after the emergency period, the emergency period is added to the notice allowing a further period of time.
- In a situation where a property owner intends to terminate before the end of a Part 4 to prevent a Further Part 4 from commencing, the notice may be served at the end of the emergency period. The emergency period of months will be disregarded for the purpose of serving the notice.
- Where a notice of termination in respect of a tenancy of a dwelling of less than 6 months duration, was served before the emergency period and specifies a termination date that falls during or after the emergency period, the termination date under that notice shall be deemed to be the revised termination date. (add on the period of the emergency) A tenant shall not, by virtue of the emergency situation, acquire any rights under Part 4 of the Residential Tenancies Act.
- Where a landlord has retained the right to serve notice in the first six months of a tenancy, it may not be served during the emergency. However the emergency period is not counted and it can be served immediately after the emergency period to prevent a Part 4 right.
In view of the emergency situation, IPOA are recommending forbearance be given where possible, where tenants are in difficult with rent as a result of the loss of job due to Covid_19. Rent arrears letters must allow tenants 28 days rather than 14 days to bring their rent up to date. However, notice of terminations may not be served during the emergency period.
Rent increase notices may be served during the emergency period. However, an increase in the rent under the tenancy of a dwelling that should take effect or be payable during the emergency period will not take effect until after the emergency period.
The RTB have produced a guide featuring expected queries and it is available HERE
A document entitled Guidance Document on Covid-19 Supports for Landlords and Tenants is available HERE
IPOA are continuing to represent and assist members during the current crisis, we are available to assist you by phone 01-8276000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, don’t hesitate to contact us.