There are a number of ways that a landlord can end a tenancy, with different factors affecting what kind of notice can be served. The main factors are the type of tenancy one is in and the length of time they are in the tenancy.
What is a fixed term tenancy?
A fixed term tenancy is an agreement that covers a specific amount of time. It is generally (but not always) set down in a written contract, called a lease. It may be for any period, but can range from as little as 6 months up to a year or more.
How can a landlord end a fixed term tenancy?
Where a lease agreement exists, notice normally cannot be given to you unless you are in breach of your obligations as a tenant, there is a break clause or both you and the landlord agree at the time to end the tenancy. At the end of a lease, your landlord cannot simply end your tenancy. A ‘part 4’ tenancy runs alongside a fixed term tenancy, which means that the tenant shall, after a period of six months and as in the normal course, become entitled to the provision of a ‘Part 4’ tenancy. If no new lease is signed then a landlord can only end a tenancy for specific reasons (Part 4 link). See examples of breaches of obligations below.
Can my landlord end my tenancy in the first 6 months?
Under normal circumstances, if there is no lease and your landlord wishes to terminate your tenancy in the first 6 months a reason does not have to be given. To see the full list of notice periods a landlord must give, visit our page, How much notice must my landlord give me?
What is a Part 4 Tenancy?
If you have been renting for at least 6 months and have not been served a written notice of termination of tenancy then you automatically acquire security of tenure and can stay in the property for a further five and a half years. This is referred to as a ‘Part 4 Tenancy’, named after Part 4 of the Residential Tenancies Act (as amended). Once you are in a ‘Part 4 Tenancy’ you can only be given notice to termination your tenancy for specific reasons.
If you remain in your tenancy for the full period of your ‘Part 4 Tenancy’, another tenancy cycle automatically begins called a ‘Further Part 4 tenancy’.
Exceptions to Part 4 Tenancy
There are some exceptions to claiming security of tenure through a ‘Part 4 Tenancy’: –
- A dwelling that is one of 2 dwellings, within a building that was originally one dwelling; where the tenant resides in one dwelling and the landlord resides in the other. The landlord must notify the tenant of this exemption in writing, at the commencement of the tenancy in order for it to be enforceable.
- Student specific accommodation
- Accommodation tied to the tenant’s job.
- Section 34(b) enables a landlord to give notice with no reason where the tenant is coming to the end of a ‘Part 4 Tenancy’ or ‘Further Part 4 Tenancy’. The notice must expire on or after the end of the cycle. Threshold has lobbied for this to be removed as it goes against security of tenure provisions.
How can a landlord end a Part 4 or Further Part 4 tenancy?
There are seven grounds set out in legislation upon which a landlord can end your Part 4 or Further Part 4 tenancy
Breach of obligations
A tenant can get either a 28-day or a Seven-day Notice of Termination when they are in breach of their obligation. For issues that are of a minor nature, you must first be given a written warning of your breach and a reasonable opportunity to correct it before a minimum of 28 days’ notice can be given.
For more serious matters, such as intimidation of neighbours or acts that threaten the fabric of the dwelling, a Seven-day Notice can be served.
Where your landlord wishes to end your tenancy due to rent arrears there is a process they must follow:
– Firstly, you must be given written notification of the arrears and
– If after 28 days you have not paid the rent due to the landlord then your landlord can seek to end the tenancy by giving you at least 28 days written Notice of Termination.
The landlord can end your tenancy if they are entering into a contract to sell within nine months and they must provide you with a signed statutory declaration to this effect. If no sale occurs within nine months the landlord must offer it back to you.
From 17th January 2017 there is a restriction on situations where a landlord intends to sell 10 or more units in a development where you are residing within a six-month period. The ‘Tyrrelstown clause’ requires the sale to be with you in situ, unless the market value in doing this would be more than 20% less than selling with vacant possession and that in the particular circumstances the prohibition on selling would be unduly onerous or cause undue unfairness or undue hardship to the landlord. A statutory declaration must be provided.
Dwelling is no longer suited to the needs of your household
There is currently no legal definition for overcrowding in private rented accommodation. If your landlord is ending your tenancy on this ground, then the notice must specify the number of bed spaces and the reason why the property is no longer suitable with regard to the bed spaces and your household composition.
Property needed for landlord/family member
The landlord must provide a signed statutory declaration that they require the property back for their own or a family members use. If for a family member the notice must identify the person and their relationship to the landlord and the expected duration of the occupation. The notice must also inform you that should the property become available to rent again within 12 months then, providing you keep the landlord updated with your contact details, you must be offered the tenancy back. You can use the template letter opposite to notify the landlord of your contact details within 28 days of the date of service of the notice and you should keep a record of this in case you need to take further action.
Substantial refurbishment or renovation
Your landlord can give notice if vacant possession is required for the substantial refurbishment or renovation of the dwelling. Your landlord must provide a certificate from an architect or surveyor that the proposed work poses a health and safety risk requiring vacant possession and the work will take at least three weeks to complete. The notice must contain or be accompanied by a written statement specifying the nature of the work and if planning permission is required this must be included. Where no planning permission is required, it should identify the contractor where relevant, the nature of the work and the proposed duration of the intended works. The statement must also inform you that the property is offered back to you upon completion of the work, providing you keep the landlord updated with your contact details. You can use the template letter opposite to notify the landlord of your contact details within 28 days of the date of service of the notice and keep a record of this in case you need to take further action.
Ending a tenancy for this reason does not justify a rent increase outside of the Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) rules of 2% which would require a change in the nature of the property.
Change of use
Your landlord can give notice if they intend to change the use of the dwelling. The notice must contain or be accompanied by a written statement specifying the nature of the change of use and if planning permission is required a copy. The statement should outline the nature of the work, contractor details and duration of the work, if relevant. It must also inform you that should the property become available to rent again within 12 months then, providing you keep the landlord updated with your contact details you are offered the tenancy back. You can use the template opposite to provide the landlord with your details within 28 days of the service of the notice and keep a record of this in case you need to take further action.