Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
336. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the status of the proposed legislation on tenancies of indefinite duration as agreed to in the programme for Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44253/20]
The Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2020 provide that where a tenant has been in occupation of a dwelling for a continuous period of 6 months, with no valid notice of termination having been served during that time, a 'Part 4 tenancy' is established to cover the next 5 years and 6 months.
Section 34 of the 2004 Act provides that a landlord must state a reason for the termination in any tenancy termination notice served, in accordance with the grounds for terminations set out in the table to that section. A Part 4 tenancy may be terminated by a landlord or tenant, without reason, at the end of its term.
A number of measures have been introduced in recent years with the objective of improving security of tenure for tenants. The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 extended the term of Part 4 tenancies from 4 to 6 years, for tenancies commencing on or after 24 December 2016 as part of a transition to tenancies of indefinite duration.
The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 enhances further the security of tenure for tenants by significantly extending the duration of tenancy termination notice periods; for example, a minimum of 180 days (approx. 6 months) notice must be provided by landlords who terminate a tenancy of between 3 and 7 years’ duration. In addition, further measures have been introduced to enhance and enforce tenancy termination provisions, including the application of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB)'s new investigation and sanctioning regime to improper conduct by a landlord who contravenes the tenancy termination provisions.
The Programme for Government - 'Our Shared Future', commits to improve the security of tenure for tenants, through legislating for tenancies of indefinite duration, increasing RTB enforcement and examining incentives for long-term leasing.
Subject to legal advices, I expect the General Scheme of the Housing and Residential Tenancies Bill to be submitted to Government in the coming months for approval to proceed to legal drafting. A provision relating to tenancies of indefinite duration is being considered in this context.