Security of Tenure

Recent changes to the legislation aim to move the rental sector towards a situation where longer term tenancies are more common

Security for both landlords and tenants is essential if the rental sector is to be both an attractive option for tenants and a safe and viable investment choice for investors. The rental strategy aims to move towards a situation where longer term tenancies are the norm. The legislation changes in 2016 extends tenancies from 4 years to 6 year tenancies.

Tenancies commencing before 24th December 2016

For tenancies that began before the 24th of December 2016, after a 6 month probationary period, the tenant secures the right to remain in the property for a further 3 1/2 years. This is known as a ‘Part 4 tenancy’.

Tenancies commencing after the 24th December 2016

For tenancies that began after the 24th of December 2016, security of tenure has increased, and after a 6 month probationary period, the tenant secures the right to remain in the property for a further 5 1/2 years.

Further Part 4 tenancies

A ‘further Part 4 tenancy’ begins once the initial ‘Part 4 tenancy’ has finished. From the 24th December 2016, when a ‘further Part 4 tenancy’ commences, it lasts for 6 years for all tenancies

This also applies to tenants in Approved Housing Bodies.

Fixed term tenancies

A fixed term tenancy is a tenancy that lasts for a specific amount of time. A ‘Part 4’ tenancy runs alongside a fixed term tenancy, which means the tenant shall, after a period of 6 months and as in the normal course, become entitled to the provisions of a ‘Part 4’ tenancy (i.e. they can stay in the property for 6 years). This simply means that irrespective of the length of the fixed term lease, a tenant has an entitlement to remain in the dwelling for up to 6 years and the landlord can only terminate the tenancy on limited grounds  See here for grounds on which a landlord can end a tenancy.

If a landlord wishes to stop a Further Part 4 tenancy coming into existence they may serve a notice during the Part 4 tenancy with the notice period given to the tenant expiring on or after the end of the tenancy.  A notice served in this way should provide a reason for termination but the reason does not need to be one of the grounds set out below.  To ensure the notice is valid it is best practice for the notice period given to end during the first six months of the Further Part 4 tenancy.

  1. The tenant has failed to comply with the obligations of the tenancy (having first been notified, in writing, of the failure, and given an opportunity to remedy it.)
  2. The landlord intends to sell the dwelling within the next 3 months
  3. The dwelling is no longer suited to the needs of the occupying household
  4. The landlord requires the dwelling for own or family member occupation
  5. Vacant possession is required for substantial refurbishment of the dwelling
  6. The landlord intends to change the use of the dwelling

More Information regarding Notices of Termination can be found here.

Example


Tenant is residing in the tenancy for duration of 4 years on 1 January 2017. From this date it currently is considered a new tenancy and called a further Part 4 tenancy. As this is a new tenancy, after the 6 months probationary timeline in which a landlord can terminate the tenancy without giving a reason, the tenant becomes entitled to remain in that tenancy for a total of 6 years unless a landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy for the above listed grounds