Proposed reforms of rental sector

Yet more reforms of the Irish rental market are on the way. Recent announcements by the government aim to introduce a series of amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act being known as the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2018.

The act basically aims to increase the notice periods that landlords serve on tenants to vacate a property and also wants to introduce a publicly available rent register.

It also increases fines from €3,000 to €15,000 for those breaching the act.

Regarding the proposed rent register, it allows for the rent paid by the previous tenant of a property to be made available to a new tenant of that property. Suggestions since then have said the register may only show averages for an area out of concerns for data privacy but if the publicly available property price register can show an address and price for a property, we’re not sure why a rental price register can’t.

Notice periods are also set to increase, in some cases, substantially. Currently, a landlord serving notice on a tenant to vacate must provide 35 days notice if the tenancy is between 6 months and one year. This would increase to 90 days or approximately 3 months under the amendments.
The exact notice periods proposed under the act are shown in the table below along with the current notice periods;

Termination by Landlord

It’s interesting to note that the proposed increased notice periods only apply to landlord’s serving notice on tenants and not visa versa.

Of course, maybe a more continental style of renting would do wonders for the Irish rental market, making multi-year leases the norm instead of the exception leading to some sort of certainty for landlord and tenant alike. There has also been talk of further reform of the rental sector such as limiting deposits to one month’s rent however current one month deposits are often insufficient to cover rent arrears and damages given that it takes a minimum of 42 days to serve the required notices and more by the time PRTB adjudication takes place.

But all this misses the core point which is that the chronic housing shortage of recent years has been left fester, leading to price inflation in both the residential and rental sectors. Until sufficient housing is available, the current situation will unfortunately continue.