Recent changes to the legislation bring landlords who provide residential accommodation to students during academic term time under the remit of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB). These changes commenced on Monday July 15th 2019.
Landlords and student tenants have access to the RTB’s dispute resolution service and will have certain rights and responsibilities as outlined in the legislation. However, there are some differences between student tenancies and other private rented tenancies.
What do we mean by a student?
Student is defined under the Act as a person registered as a student with a relevant provider (within the meaning of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012)
What type of accommodation?
All accommodation that houses students will soon be covered by the Act. This includes on-campus accommodation, purpose-built student accommodation. Privately-owned properties which are being let to students remains under the remit of the RTB.
The law will apply to student accommodation both self-contained and otherwise. This is in recognition of the fact that student accommodation is often shared with shared communal spaces. While a tenant of student accommodation is entitled to ‘peaceful occupation’ they do not have the right to ‘exclusive’ occupation. This may mean that the landlord can enter communal areas without permission from the occupants however ‘house-rules’ and any agreement in place should make this clear from the outset of the tenancy. Goods communication between parties is crucial.
‘Digs style’ student accommodation, similar to the rent a room scheme, remains outside of the RTB’s jurisdiction.
Are all students covered by the legislation from the date of enactment?
The Act will not apply to tenancies / licences for student accommodation created within one month of commencement of the relevant date the new student legislation is enacted. The Act will continue to apply to any dwelling where a tenancy was already in existence prior to the relevant date the new student legislation is enacted.
The laws in relation to Rent Reviews are the same as apply to other tenants.
All other rights and responsibilities aside from what is set out regarding ‘exclusive occupation’ and what is set out below remain the same.
What is the difference between students and tenants?
A person registered as a student with a relevant provider is not entitled to ‘Part 4’ rights.
Ordinarily after 6 months of continuous occupation a tenant is entitled to remain on for a further 5.5 years and landlords can only end such a tenancy for a specific reason (Section 34 grounds such as sale, own or family member occupation and so on to serve a notice of termination). This is not the case for student-tenants. While a landlord will be required to serve a valid written notice of termination and allow the appropriate notice period, they will not be required to have a ground for termination.
|Duration of tenancy||Notice Period|
|Less than 6 months||28 days|
|Not less than 6 months but less than one year||90 days|
|Not less than one year but less than three years||120 days|
|Not less than three years but less than seven years||180 days|
|Not less than seven years but less than eight years||196 days|
|Not less than eight years||224 days|
If a landlord of a student wishes to terminate the tenancy they must serve a valid written notice allowing the correct notice period. Recent changes to the legislation have extended notice periods. Landlords must ensure they get the notice period correct.
For the notice of termination to be valid it must:
- Be in writing.
- Be signed by the landlord or authorised agent.
- Give the date that the notice is sent.
- Give the date by which the tenant must leave the property and state that the tenant has the full 24 hours of this date to vacate the property.
- State that the tenant has 28 days to refer the notice to the RTB if they have any question about the validity of the notice or the right of the landlord to end the tenancy.
|Fee Type||Type of Application||Fee|
For the 2019/2020 academic year, from 15th July 2019 there will be a 4 month transitional period to register tenancies. Only tenancies commenced on or after 15th August 2019 are to be registered.
Once the transitional period ends, registrations are required 1 month after the Tenancy Commencement Date.
€40 - no late fee
Between 5 and max of 10 tenancies in one building being registered at the same time, by the same landlord and within 1 month of the earliest Tenancy Commencement Date of that group of tenancies.
For example, one accommodation block, with one main entry, has 26 student units. The total fee is 3 composites = 3 x €170 = €510 (total to be paid for registering the tenancies).
|2nd or subsequent registration within a 12 month period||No fee will apply to the 2nd or subsequent registration in a 12 month period, in respect of the same dwelling.||No fee|
Application is recieved more than one month after the Tenancy Commencement Date and in respect of each month or part of a month after such date.
There is no maximum late fee applied, as the late fee will continue to add up until it is paid.