Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Private Residential Tenancies Board
844. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 576 of 8 December 2015, if he will clarify a matter on behalf of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46588/15]
The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 applies to every dwelling that is the subject of a tenancy, subject to a limited number of exceptions. The dwellings to which the Act does not apply are set out in section 3(2) of the Act, and include for example:
- a dwelling that is used wholly or partly for the purpose of carrying on a business;
- a dwelling within which the landlord also resides;
- a dwelling the subject of a tenancy the term of which is over 35 years.
Where a dwelling is occupied by a person under a tenancy to which the Act does not apply or under an arrangement or agreement which is not a tenancy , such as instances where a bona fide licensing arrangement exists, the PRTB does not have any function in relation to such agreements or arrangements.
Licences are not granted to landlords. A licence, in this context, is a private contractual matter between the parties concerned. In circumstances where it is unclear as to whether a particular rental agreement is a tenancy or a licence, the PRTB can adjudicate on the question and has done so in the past. Where it finds that a tenancy is unregistered due to the landlord’s wrongful claim of licence , the PRTB can serve a notice requiring registration and failure to comply is an offence.
The question of whether a particular rental agreement is a tenancy or a licence is independent of the type or nature of the development. It is not the case, for example, that owners of multi-unit developments are automatically exempt from PRTB regulations. Where the owner of a dwelling in a multi-unit development enters into an agreement with a person for the occupation of that dwelling , it is a private contractual matter between the parties as to whether that agreement is a licence or a tenancy. If the agreement entered into is a tenancy agreement, then the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 applies to that agreement, unless it falls into one of the exemptions set out in section 3 of the Act. Where the agreement entered into between the parties is a licence agreement, the Act does not apply.