A new process for rent arrears was introduced as of the 2nd August 2020, tenants and landlords must follow the new process if they find themselves in rent arrears.
STEP 1: Warning Notice To Pay Back The Rent Arrears
The landlord must first serve a written rent arrears warning notice to give the tenant a minimum of 28 days to pay the rent arrears. ( relevant for immediate arrears – where arrears have accumulated, for example pre-covid – reasonable time to repay amount must be given)
A landlord must serve a written rent arrears warning notice; an email or text message will not suffice. The warning notice must set out the full amount of rent arrears owed by the tenant and explain that failure to pay 100% of the monies owed within the time provided will result in a Notice of Termination being served.
Sample warning notice – RTB website.
STEP 2: Copy Of The Written Rent Arrears Warning Notice To The RTB
There is a new responsibility for landlords to provide a copy of the 28-day written rent arrears warning notice to the RTB. When issuing a warning notice, a landlord must send a copy to the RTB as soon as possible. The 28-day period will count from the date when both the tenant and the RTB have received the warning notice, we suggest you send both notices at the same time.
A copy of the warning notice should be submitted to the RTB by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Note : Failure to submit a copy of the warning notice to the RTB will invalidate any related Notice of Termination.
STEP 3: RTB Will Write To The Landlord On receipt Of The Warning Notice
The RTB will write to the landlord acknowledging receipt of the written rent arrears warning notice.
STEP 4: Tenant Provides Consent To The RTB To Assist Them In Obtaining MABS Advice
STEP 5: Tenant Self-Declaration Form Provided To The RTB And A Copy To Landlord
New protections are in place until the 10th January 2021 under the Residential Tenancies and Valuation Act 2020 for tenants who are currently, or were at any stage from 9th March 2020 to 10th January 2021, unable to pay their rent due to Covid-19 and as a consequence, are at significant risk of having their tenancy ended.
If the tenant meets the criteria below, they are not required to vacate their accommodation or pay an increase in rent during the period up to 10th of January 2021.
In order to avail of these protections, tenants must meet Criteria A and B:
- in receipt of (or entitled to receive) Illness Benefit for Covid-19 absence, during the period of 9 March 2020 to 10 January 2021; OR
- in receipt of (or entitled to receive) during the period of 9 March 2020 to 10 January 2021;
- the Temporary Wage Subsidy, Employment Wage Subsidy or
- any other social welfare payment or State support paid as a result of loss of earnings due to Covid-19, (this includes the rent supplement or a supplementary welfare allowance); AND
- are at risk of losing their tenancy.
A tenant meeting the above criteria MUST fill out the Self-Declaration form to benefit from the new protections. The Self-Declaration form can be found here. The tenant must send the original copy of the Self-Declaration form to the RTB
The tenant must also post a true copy of the original declaration to their landlord.
Once received, the RTB will issue an acknowledgement letter to both the tenant and the landlord on receipt of the Self-Declaration.
STEP 6: Notice Of Termination
Landlord who has not received a Self-Declaration form from their tenant:
If a landlord has not recieved a Self-Declaration form, the landlord can serve a Notice of Termination for rent arrears once the 28-day warning notice has expired.
Sample Notice – download here.
By law from the 2nd August 2020 to 10th January 2021, if Notices of Termination are served on tenants who:
have not paid rent arrears during the minimum 28-day warning period, or
have not submitted a self-declaration form to their landlord & the RTB,
the termination notice period is a minimum of 28 days.
Landlord who has received a Self-Declaration form from their tenant:
If a tenant has submitted their Self-Declaration form to the landlord , that tenancy cannot be terminated until 11 January 2021 and the tenant must be given a 90 day notice period.
A landlord can serve a valid Notice of Termination from 2nd August onwards, however, the termination date must reflect a date on or after 11th January 2021.
Sample Notice – download here.
* Note: Where a landlord has received a Self-Declaration, no rent increase can take effect until the day after the expiry of the emergency period – i.e. 11th January 2021.
STEP 7: Landlords Must Serve A Copy Of The Notice Of Termination To The RTB
There is a new obligation on landlords to serve the Notice of Termination on their tenant and to send a copy of it to the RTB on the same day. The requirement to send the copy on the same day applies from 2nd August onwards and applies specifically to Notices of Termination based on rent arrears only.
*Note: If the landlord does not send the copy of the Notice of Termination to both the tenant and RTB, the Notice of Termination will be invalid.
STEP 8: RTB Will Contact The Tenant Informing Them Of Their Resolution Options