In case you are not aware, changes to the Residential Tenancies act are on the way and these are due to be signed into law over the coming weeks. It’s important to be familiar with them as they will impact every tenancy. Here is a quick summary of what changes are on the horizon.

We understand that the following changes are expected to come into Law in June 2019:

Rent setting and reviews:
The designation of Rent Pressure Zones will be extended by two years to the end of 2021.

Works that will qualify for the temporary exemption from rent restrictions will be further defined. This is expected to consist of:

A permanent extension increasing the size of the property by more than 25%

Or at least 3 of the following:

a. permanent alteration of the internal layout
b. adaptions for persons with a disability
c. permanent increase in the number of rooms
d. an improvement in the BER by 2 or more ratings

Terminating a lease:
RTB will be given further powers to sanction landlords for improper conduct.

All termination notices will now be required to be copied to the RTB

A landlord who terminates a tenancy for the purpose of selling their property must offer the property back to the tenant if it does not sell within 9 months.

A landlord who terminates a tenancy because they need the property for themselves or a family member must offer the property back to the tenant if it becomes vacant again within 12 months.

A landlord who terminates a tenancy because of substantial refurbishment must offer the property back to the tenant when the works are complete.

If a tenancy is to be terminated for a substantial refurbishment, a certificate from an architect or surveyor will be required confirming a health and safety risk.

Notice periods:
Tenancies of between 3 & 7 years will now require 180 days notice period should a landlord wish to terminate their lease.

Short term letting:
Amendments will be made to the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) to provide for the regulation of short-term letting.
The amendments will essentially allow the Minster to make regulations to allow home sharing, while restricting the letting of second properties on a short term basis in high demand areas. Holiday homes and executive letting will not be impacted.

We will post an updated blog once the exact information is written into law which we expect will be in June 2019.

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