Major changes to the law regarding residential tenancies came into force on 11 February 2021.

Of particular concern for landlords are the new rules about ending a tenancy. The information below applies to any tenancy signed after 11 February 2021. The rules differ for those signed before that date.

Periodic Tenancy: A periodic tenancy does not have a fixed end date, so continues until either the tenant or the landlord advises in writing that they wish to end it.

Tenant notice
A tenant must give the landlord at least 28 days’ notice in writing to end the tenancy.

Landlord notice
In some situations, the landlord can give 63 days’ notice in writing, if:

• The owner or their family member wants to live in the property; or

• The property is required for occupation by the landlord’s employees or contractors.

In some situations, the landlord can give 90 days’ notice in writing, if:

• the property is to be sold;

• extensive alterations or redevelopment are to be carried out; or

• the premises are to be converted into commercial premises, or       demolished

Fixed Term Tenancy: A fixed term tenancy continues for a specific length of time e.g. twelve months. Neither the landlord nor the tenant can give notice to end a fixed term tenancy early.

Importantly, a fixed term tenancy can only be changed if the landlord and tenant agree together, in writing.

A fixed term tenancy automatically becomes a periodic tenancy at the end of the fixed term unless:

• The landlord gives notice using the reasons in the Residential Tenancies Act for terminating a periodic tenancy (as above);

• The tenant gives at least 28 days’ notice (for any reason) before the end of the fixed term tenancy; or

• The landlord and tenant agree to extend, renew, or end the fixed term tenancy before it expires.

It is very important for landlords to know about the changes and how they impact their tenancies.

Landlords who do not comply with the new rules run the risk of their tenants making a complaint to the Tenancy Tribunal. Landlords must ensure their tenancy documentation is legally compliant. In light of the new changes it would be wise to take advice from a professional experienced in the area.

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