Threshold (the national housing organisation) is holding seminars nationwide to provide information to landlords on major changes to the private rented sector being introduced in the new Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The seminars will include presentations on the main provisions of the Act and opportunities for landlords to have their questions answered.
Locations and dates are as follows:
Dublin 2nd September Gresham Hotel 6.00-8.00pm
Galway 8th September Harbour Hotel 6.00-8.00pm
Cork 15th September Ambassador Hotel 6.00-8.00pm
Limerick 28th September Glentworth Hotel 6.00-8.00pm
Waterford 5th October Tower Hotel 6.00-8.00pm
Admission is free but places are limited. Tickets for Cork seminar can be obtained from 021-4271250, Galway 091-563080, and all other areas from 01-6786096.
The main changes being introduced by the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 include: a new service to help resolve disputes between tenants and landlords, a right to remain in accommodation for good tenants, new rules about notice periods for both landlords and tenants, and some changes to the amount of rents that may be charged.
Patrick Burke, Director of Threshold, says:
“The Residential Tenancies Act is a major step forward form the private rented sector. It puts the landlord and tenant relationship on a more business-like footing. The rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants are clearly written down and the means of resolving disputes will be more flexible and cheaper than in the past.
Threshold recognises that many landlords are looking for information on the changes in the new law and how it will affect them. One out every ten calls we receive is from a landlord. So we have decided to go on the road to inform landlords around Ireland about the changes that are taking place.”
Notes to Editor:
This is a brief overview of the major changes that have been introduced by the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. It should be noted that while the legislation has been passed into law, the provisions have not yet been brought into effect.
The Private Residential Tenancies Board has been set up to resolve disputes between tenants and landlords. The Board will deal with:
– The refund or retention of deposits, which is currently dealt with by the Small Claims Court.
– Determining proper notice periods
– Termination of tenancies
– Claims for rent arrears or other charges
– Claims for costs and damages for either landlord or tenant
Only landlords who register with the PRTB will be able to avail of the mediation service provided by the PRTB, while all tenants will be able to use the service.
Tenants’ Right to Remain
Another major change is that tenants will gain the right to remain in occupation after a six-month probationary period. After six months, the tenant will be entitled to extend their tenancy for a further three and a half years. The landlord may terminate the tenancy during this period on specified grounds only.
Termination of Tenancies
Once the initial six-month probation period is over, the landlord must provide a valid reason for ending a tenancy such as antisocial behaviour or non-payment of rent. In the case of anti-social behaviour, the landlord only has to provide 7 days notice. Where the tenant has defaulted on rent payment, the tenant must be notified in writing and given seven days to pay the rent owing, before being asked to leave. In other cases, the landlord will have to serve a minimum of 28 days notice and up to a maximum of 112 days, depending on how long the tenant has been renting the accommodation.
Amount of Rent and Reviews
Finally, landlords will be restricted from charging rent that is above the market rate. After the first twelve months, the landlord can seek a rent review. A review cannot take place more frequently than annually unless substantial changes have been made to the accommodation.