Tenants may be in for a big shock!

Did you know that tenants moving out in January and February risk losing their security deposit and possibly even owing a lot more to their landlords?

A moratorium on evictions is in place from the 31st December 2020 and is due to expire on 10th February 2021 (see more on that here). It also looks like that date may be extended into February and possibly even March 2021.

The moratorium on evictions also applies to tenants who have served notices on their landlords.

Tenants can still serve a Notice of Termination as usual during an Emergency Period, subject to certain exceptions, but the notice period cannot begin to count until an Emergency Period is lifted.

If a tenant served a Notice of Termination beforehand, the duration of any Emergency Period will not count as part of any termination notice period given, which means that notice periods are effectively paused for the duration of any Emergency Period.

As such, the RTA 2020 introduces a revised termination date upon the expiry of any Emergency Period. The revised termination date factors in the Emergency Period plus an extra 10-day grace period. Effectively, a revised termination date will be calculated counting:

  1. all (or the remainder) of the original termination notice given;
  2. all (or the remainder) of the Emergency Period; and
  3. the 10-day grace period.

The Landlord is entitled to 10 days grace after an Emergency Period is lifted.

 

So how much could this cost a tenant?

If a tenant vacates prior to the revised termination date, then the Landlord may be entitled to deduct the loss of rent for that period from the tenant’s security deposit. If the deposit did not cover the losses, the Landlord may pursue the tenant for additional monies.

 

Example

The tenant is living in a property more than 4 years and so they must give their landlord 84 days’ notice. They serve a notice on the landlord on 25th October 2020 and this notice terminates on January 26th 2021.

However, because of the Emergency Period, their notice is paused from December 31st (26 days before the termination date).

If the Emergency period ends January 31st, then the new revised termination date is March 10th 2021 (31st January = 26 days + 10 days grace).  If the rent is €2000 per month, this means the Tenant may be responsible for an additional €2,367.00

If the Emergency period is extended to February 28th, then the new revised termination date is April 9th 2021 (31st January = 59 days + 10 days grace). If the rent is €2000 per month, this means the Tenant may be responsible for an additional €4,537.00

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