Tenant’s rights protected by the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act
Legislation protecting tenants has been passed in the Seanad. The bill came into effect on July 1st, 2019 and is a major step in providing tenants with a further safeguard of their rights. The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act now gives the Residential Tenancies Board Ireland (RTB) additional capacity to regulate the rental market.
The board can now investigate tenancy agreements whether a formal complaint is in place or not. Furthermore, it also gives them the power to caution or sanction landlords up to €15,000 if they breach their agreements with tenants. The rental pressure zone has now increased in size which will affect rent increases going forward.
Landlords are required to give longer notice periods to tenants
Alongside changes mentioned above, there have been some other changes brought about in the amendment.
Notice periods for tenants have been significantly increased. Tenants who have been in a property for between three and seven years now require 180 days’ notice-to-quit. Those between one and three years in a tenancy agreement have had their notice increased to 120 days. There have even been some changes for those in properties between six months and one year. The new notice period for such tenants has been increased to 90 days from a current 35.
The Bill now also includes student accommodation. Tenants need to feel secure in their leases. The more transparency and regulations that govern these tenancies the less conflict in the long run on both sides.
Who are the RTB and how do they help landlords & tenants?
The RTB (formerly PRTB) was set up in 2004 under the residential tenancies act and its functions are multifaceted. Firstly, it provides a register of tenancies in Ireland for both private landlords and approved housing bodies. Likewise, it has the scope to carry out research into the private rental sector.
Most importantly, is its capacity as a direct means of conflict resolution between landlords and tenants. It gives guidelines for dealing with disputes and lets both sides know their rights and duties when it comes to disputes.
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