New legislation to limit landlords' rights

Heard this on the news just now and Threshold and Focus Ireland are really delighted.

https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/private-rented-housing/residential-tenancies-board/minister-murphy-announces-new-reforms


Provisions relating to rent setting and rent reviews inside and outside of Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs):

  • The designation of existing RPZs will be extended to the end of 2021.
  • The exemptions from the 4% p.a. rent increase restriction in RPZs have been revised so to apply only to the first rent setting, rather than every rent setting, during the period of RPZ designation in respect of a new rental property, including a property that had not be rented in the 2 year period prior to any RPZ designation.
  • Also, a definition is proposed to illustrate the type of works that qualify for the exemption from the rent increase restriction in respect of a substantial change in the nature of the rental property – such works shall consist of either a permanent extension increasing the floor area by 25% or at least 3 of the following; (a) a permanent alteration of the internal layout, (b) adaptations for persons with a disability, (c) a permanent increase in the number of rooms, (d) an improvement in the BER by 2 or more ratings.
  • For fairness across the country, revisions are proposed in respect of the average rent qualifying criterion for RPZ designation. Using RTB data, (i) the rent of a dwelling in the Greater Dublin Area (Kildare, Wicklow and Meath) will now be compared to the average rent across the country, excluding Dublin rents; and (ii) the rent of a dwelling outside of the Greater Dublin Area will be compared to the average rent across the country, excluding the Greater Dublin Area rents.
  • Outside of RPZ’s, the requirement for bi-annual rent review cycles, rather than annual, will continue to the end of 2021.
Provisions relating to tenancy termination under the Act:

  • the new RTB sanctioning regime will apply to improper conduct by a landlord who contravenes the tenancy termination provisions;
  • landlords will be required to copy a tenancy termination notice to the RTB;
  • where a landlord terminates a tenancy because he/she intends to sell the property, he/she must enter into a contract for sale within 9 months of the termination date and if not, must offer to re-let to a former tenant who provides their contact details;
  • where a landlord terminates a tenancy because he/she needs the property for his/her own occupation or for a family member, that property must be offered back to the former tenant who provides their contact details where it again becomes vacant within 1 year, rather than 6 months (as currently provided for in the Act), of the termination date;
  • where a landlord terminates a tenancy because he/she needs to substantially refurbish/renovate the property, that property must be offered back to the former tenant who provides their contact details, upon completion of the works;
  • Also a certificate from an architect or surveyor will be required to the effect that the proposed substantial refurbishment/renovation works in question would pose a health and safety risk requiring vacation by the tenants and would require at least 3 weeks to complete;
  • 180 days (approx. 6 months) notice period to be provided by landlords who terminate a tenancy of between 3 and 7 years’ duration.
 
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I thought that the RTE news report said that landlords who sell properties must leave their tenants there? But that does not seem to be in the proposals.

where a landlord terminates a tenancy because he/she needs the property for his/her own occupation or for a family member, that property must be offered back to the former tenant who provides their contact details where it again becomes vacant within 1 year, rather than 6 months (as currently provided for in the Act), of the termination date;

So they can terminate a tenancy to sell the property, but they must actually sell the property.

It seems that the Minister tried to introduce the right of the tenant to stay in the property but it would have been unconstitutional.

Many of these new reforms are being made following a series of engagements between the Taoiseach and I and the leading NGOs in the area of homelessness. I want to thank them for their very constructive proposals. And while not all of them could be adopted in full, in particular that of banning tenancy terminations for reason of sale, because it was deemed unlawful, these changes will help people who are struggling most to keep a roof over their heads.
 
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NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
A healthy market needs both tenants and landlords with strong rights.

Tenants' rights have been strengthened hugely in recent years. I would quibble with a few issues, but on balance it is a good thing.

Landlords' rights have not been strengthened at all, and in many cases weakened. A few issues:
  1. Impossible to evict within a reasonable period of time for non-payment of rent
  2. Even if a tenant gives notice the landlord cannot negotiate a market rent with a completely new tenant in an RPZ.
  3. No effective mechanism for clawing back arrears for overholding. I would think two to three months' rent as deposit should be standard, given the protection that tenants now have from early termination of tenancy.
Short run, this is good news for people in an existing tenancy. Long run, it's very bad for people who want a new tenancy, and is also likely to see small-time landlords just getting out of the market.
 

Gordon Gekko

Frequent Poster
Heard this on the news just now and Threshold and Focus Ireland are really delighted.

https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/private-rented-housing/residential-tenancies-board/minister-murphy-announces-new-reforms


Provisions relating to rent setting and rent reviews inside and outside of Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs):

  • The designation of existing RPZs will be extended to the end of 2021.
  • The exemptions from the 4% p.a. rent increase restriction in RPZs have been revised so to apply only to the first rent setting, rather than every rent setting, during the period of RPZ designation in respect of a new rental property, including a property that had not be rented in the 2 year period prior to any RPZ designation.
  • Also, a definition is proposed to illustrate the type of works that qualify for the exemption from the rent increase restriction in respect of a substantial change in the nature of the rental property – such works shall consist of either a permanent extension increasing the floor area by 25% or at least 3 of the following; (a) a permanent alteration of the internal layout, (b) adaptations for persons with a disability, (c) a permanent increase in the number of rooms, (d) an improvement in the BER by 2 or more ratings.
  • For fairness across the country, revisions are proposed in respect of the average rent qualifying criterion for RPZ designation. Using RTB data, (i) the rent of a dwelling in the Greater Dublin Area (Kildare, Wicklow and Meath) will now be compared to the average rent across the country, excluding Dublin rents; and (ii) the rent of a dwelling outside of the Greater Dublin Area will be compared to the average rent across the country, excluding the Greater Dublin Area rents.
  • Outside of RPZ’s, the requirement for bi-annual rent review cycles, rather than annual, will continue to the end of 2021.
Provisions relating to tenancy termination under the Act:

  • the new RTB sanctioning regime will apply to improper conduct by a landlord who contravenes the tenancy termination provisions;
  • landlords will be required to copy a tenancy termination notice to the RTB;
  • where a landlord terminates a tenancy because he/she intends to sell the property, he/she must enter into a contract for sale within 9 months of the termination date and if not, must offer to re-let to a former tenant who provides their contact details;
  • where a landlord terminates a tenancy because he/she needs the property for his/her own occupation or for a family member, that property must be offered back to the former tenant who provides their contact details where it again becomes vacant within 1 year, rather than 6 months (as currently provided for in the Act), of the termination date;
  • where a landlord terminates a tenancy because he/she needs to substantially refurbish/renovate the property, that property must be offered back to the former tenant who provides their contact details, upon completion of the works;
  • Also a certificate from an architect or surveyor will be required to the effect that the proposed substantial refurbishment/renovation works in question would pose a health and safety risk requiring vacation by the tenants and would require at least 3 weeks to complete;
  • 180 days (approx. 6 months) notice period to be provided by landlords who terminate a tenancy of between 3 and 7 years’ duration.
I don’t understand the second bullet point.

Is this good or bad for a landlord?
 

AlbacoreA

Frequent Poster
Not sure is it to change the calculation if the rent was well blow market rate. Maybe people were going above 4% increases repeatedly where the rent was a long way off market rate.
 

Sconeandjam

Registered User
Maybe its done that way so confuse the landlords and tenants alike. I think this is to close some loop holes.
From my interpretation I think it is saying increasing above the 4% in rpz can only happen on first letting and cannot be increased even if the house has not been rented for 2years since last letting. Some landlords will leave a house empty so they can bring to market rent level.

Or when the tenant leaves some Landlords they bring the rent to market rent level. Only existing tenants can go to rtb to claim rent above rpz level.

This government needs help small time landlords or they will end up with more of their (the government)tenants in hotels.
 
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hippy1975

Frequent Poster
Agree on points re: no provision to address being able to recover arrears or address over-holding - both of which may be made more likely due to the fact that this is increasing tenants' rights significantly without any increased responsibility on their part. As Karl Dieter once said "tenants in Ireland want marriage-style commitment but a tinder-style relationship"

Anyway, thankfully I have, by pure chance, just started the process of selling one rental property - have one more that I always intended to keep to possibly move into in old age but the way it's going I don't know.

Does anyone know anything about the annual RTB registration? Is that going to be 90 euro annually and still not applicable for tax?
 

AlbacoreA

Frequent Poster
Apparently these new rules are expected to be signed into law within the next fortnight -
https://www.thejournal.ie/rising-rents-eoghan-murphy-eoin-o-broin-4632272-May2019/

Any landlords thinking of getting out of the residential letting game might be well advised to move quickly ...

God help their tenants.:(
I don't think these make any real difference. The main issues are being locked into a really low rent especially with subsequent tenancies. For an even longer period. And also problems and long delays with getting problem and or non paying tenants out.. These problems have been there a long time now.

If you have good tenants and are happy with the rent in the it's viable no need to sell up.

The viability of getting into buy to let now seems unviable to me. Perhaps I'm wrong.

I think the worry of further changes is worrying.
 
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Sarenco

Frequent Poster
At least (as far as I know) they aren't backdating it. So if you have your notices in already, they'll still stand.
That's correct @AlbacoreA.

Any landlord thinking of issuing a notice of termination should have at least a month to do so under the current rules.

Bearing in mind that raising rent above an annualised 4% within an RPZ will shortly become a criminal offence, I suspect we will see a spike of termination notices issued over the coming weeks.

I think that's a crying shame but, hey, I don't make the rules...
 

Luternau

Frequent Poster
It's nuts that they can just fast track legislation to criminalise what is a civil matter (a contract between landlord and tenant). No doubt stacks of resources will be applied to enforcement of these new laws for social good. The govt must be seen to be tackling rogue landlords and the housing crisis of its own making.
In contrast, every day of the week motoring offences are going un-policed ultimately leaving dangerous drivers on the roads at a high social and financial cost to the state. We are told additional resources for policing are coming but no sign yet.
 
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lonelyplanet

Registered User
What is the changes with respect to termintation of a tenancy.? I am not in a RPZ but in anticipation of new legislation I informed tenants of a substantial increase as in rent due to the uncertainty of the governmental meddling. I have been very very fair but with the unknown meddling going on I am pushing up the rents. I am sick of the RTB and all the spin as regards protecting tenants rights and implying they are after rogue landlords which no doubt exist but feel the larger number of tenants are not held accountable to anything in all this legislation.
 

Sarenco

Frequent Poster
What is the changes with respect to termintation of a tenancy.?
Essentially the notice periods are being extended in most case - here's a decent summary of the Bill as initiated:-

I'm afraid being fair (or even very, very fair;)) doesn't cut it any more - the State now decides what's "fair".

It genuinely amazes me that not a single Irish politician has spoken out against rent controls (to my knowledge). It's such a stoopid policy ...
 

WolfeTone

New Member
Its typically a political reaction to the here and now with little foresight for the future. Landlords are having a terrible, terrible time. Constantly being squeezed at every opportunity to the point of capital diversification.
Tenants on the other hand are on the pigs back. They dont have to pay rent if they dont want to and they can wreck the property at will, there are no consequences!
Its the populist position.
I think, after the introduction of these new measures we are reaching a tipping point. Landlords cannot put up with this situation any longer and the seeds of dissent are being sown.
Give it time, 12-18 months, and it will be landlords outside the GPO fighting for their rights and better conditions - and only right so.
 
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Sarenco

Frequent Poster
There is an interesting change in this legislation around getting an improved BER may qualify as enough to reset the Rent Cap.
Yeah, it's one element of the new definition as to what constitutes a "substantial change" to a property for the purposes of the exemption.

It will a pretty difficult standard to meet though - see Section 6(1)(c) of the Bill -

 
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