27th July 2020
The Residential Tenancies and Valuation Bill 2020 was presented to the Dáil last week and passed stage one. It will require close scrutiny, and additions and subtractions may occur prior to the legislation being enacted. The Bill is expected to be enacted prior to the 1st August 2020.
From cursory inspection, and this is not definitive in any way, we note the following: –
The aim of the Bill is:
- to help protect tenants who are in rent arrears as a result of Covid-19 and
- to prevent rent increases from taking effect until after 11th January 2021
It does not appear to prevent the service of notice for other reasons under section 34, eg anti-social behaviour, selling, own use, overcrowding etc. There is currently a restriction on these until after 1st August 2020.
It appears to place new obligations on landlords when dealing with tenants in arrears: –
- Two separate notices for 28 days may be required to be served on the tenant prior to the service of a notice of termination
- Notice of terminations for rent arrears may require 90 days
- No notice of termination served for rent arrears can have a termination date earlier than the 11th January 2021
- Where notice of termination is served on tenants for rent arrears, a copy must also be served on RTB
- It allows for sanctions on tenants for making declarations that are false or misleading.
It places new obligations on the RTB to direct tenants to information that may assist them if they are in financial difficulty.
This is a Bill and not law yet and subject to change. Please do not consider this a legal interpretation.
The Bill is available for scrutiny here.