“The purpose of the our proposals was to prevent homelessness by strengthening tenants’ rights in respect of minimum notice periods for termination of tenancies and to improve rent certainty measures.”

Proposals by the Social Democrats aimed at reducing the risk of homelessness have been passed by the Seanad tonight following the passing of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2018 (a Government Bill).

Proposals put forward by the Social Democrats in January 2018 in relation to significantly lengthening the minimum notice-to-quit periods that landlords must provide to their tenants have been adopted in this Bill. The proposals were first contained in the Social Democrats own Bill, the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which has since been adopted by Government and largely incorporated into their own legislation.

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall said, “The purpose of the Social Democrats proposals was to prevent homelessness by strengthening tenants’ rights in respect of minimum notice periods for termination of tenancies and to improve rent certainty measures.

Up until now, very short minimum notice periods have been set down under legislation. Tenants resident for a year are only entitled to 42 days’ notice from their landlord – this will rise to 120 days under the new legislation. In the current climate, where there is a severe housing shortage, it is very difficult for tenants and the housing services that support them to find alternative accommodation with just 42 days’ notice. The short notice period is a factor in driving the surge in homelessness.

Ireland has very short notice periods in comparison to other countries where the minimum notice period tends to be around 3 months.

This new legislation will now extend notice periods for termination of tenancies by landlords so that all tenancies a year or over will require at least a 120 day notice period (and higher the longer the tenancies). Tenancies which are 6 months to a year in duration will now require a 90 day minimum notice period – up from just 35 days.

The change provides a modest but important extra protection for tenants to prevent homelessness. The other measures in the Bill will also help strengthen tenants rights and we welcome its passing tonight.”

ENDS

21st May 2019