Where you wish to end your tenancy, you must give notice of termination in writing. It is very important to note that email, text or verbal notice is not valid under the law and may not be treated as a notice. The amount of notice you are required to give depends on how long you have been in your tenancy. The normal notice periods are:
|Duration of Tenancy
|Less than 6 months
|Not less than 6 months but less than 1 year
|More than 1 year but less than 2 years
|More than 2 years but less than 4 years
|More than 4 years but less than 8 years
|8 years or more
In some situations, shorter notice periods may be given:
– Seven days if the behaviour of the landlord poses a threat of injury to a tenant or danger to the dwelling.
– If your landlord is in breach of their obligations, you must notify them of the problem in writing and give a reasonable opportunity to correct it; if it continues you can serve a minimum of 28 days’ notice in writing.
For a notice of termination to be valid it must:
– Be in writing (email, text or verbal notice is not valid)
– Specify the date of service
– State that any issue as to the validity of the notice must be referred to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) within 28 days of receipt of it.
Your written notice can be served on your landlord/agent in a number of ways including:
Leaving it at the address provided by the landlord/agent for you to reasonably contact them
Personally, handing it to the landlord/agent
Posting the notice but registered post will guarantee receipt. The presumption is that it is received through the normal course of delivery (usually this is the next day)
A deposit cannot be used in lieu of rent and you are liable for paying the rent up to the end of the notice period unless otherwise agreed with your landlord/agent. It is recommended to give notice in such a way that it ends with the end of a rental period.
Termination when a lease agreement is in place
If you have a lease agreement normally you cannot terminate your tenancy unless your landlord is in breach of their obligations, there is a break clause in your lease or both you and your landlord agree at the time to end the tenancy. If you break a lease without having reasonable grounds to do so, or do not give the correct notice of termination, you do not automatically lose your deposit – however, your landlord may seek to make deductions from or keep your deposit to cover expenses such as re-advertising, re-letting costs or lost rent.
It is possible to break a fixed term lease through assignment or sub-letting. You must get agreement for either, which the landlord cannot unreasonably withhold.
If the landlord agrees to you getting replacement it is important to decide if you want to assign or sublet your tenancy.
Assignment is where you find someone to replace you and you leave the tenancy; the person who replaces you becomes the tenant of the landlord. A new tenancy cycle begins and you no longer have any responsibilities under the tenancy.
Subletting to another person is where you move out and let to a sub-tenant who takes over your tenancy, usually for a specified period of time. You effectively become their de-facto landlord but are still responsible for the tenancy to the landlord. For example, if the sub-tenant fails to pay the rent you will be liable for this. If you wish to return to the property you will have to issue a written notice of termination to the sub tenant in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.
A person cannot assign or sub-let part of a dwelling and this may cause difficulties in shared accommodation where there are multiple tenants and some wish to leave but some wish to remain. In this scenario you cannot assign or sub-let individually. A tenancy can only be ended when all the tenants vacate. However, if you are renting an individual room then you can terminate that without any concerns for the other tenants.
It is possible for multiple occupants to bring in a new tenant with the landlord’s permission.