If your landlord wants you to leave, they must serve you with a valid written notice of termination. The notice can be posted to you, be given to you in person or be left for you at your address. Neither email nor text messages qualify as valid notices of termination. If it appears that you are not living in the property, the landlord can affix the notice to the outside of the property.
Section 62 of the 2004 Act sets down the requirements for a valid notice of termination. A notice of termination must:
- Be in writing
- Be signed by the landlord (or an authorised agent)
- Specify the date of termination of the tenancy
- State that you have the whole 24 hours of the termination date to vacate the property
- Specify the date of the notice itself
- State the reason for termination, if a tenancy has lasted more than six months or is a fixed-term tenancy
- State that any issue as to the validity of the notice or the right of the landlord to serve it must be referred to the RTB within 28 days from the receipt of the notice.
In addition, the landlord must provide additional details in certain situations and, in some cases, a statutory declaration. The RTB provides sample notices of termination, giving the details required in each situation.
If the property is being sold
If the landlord intends to sell the property within three months of the termination of your tenancy, the notice of termination must state that “The reason for the termination of the tenancy is due to the fact that the landlord intends to sell the dwelling, for full consideration, within three months after the termination of the tenancy”. The notice must also include a statutory declaration stating the landlord’s intention to sell.
If the landlord is availing of the exception to the ‘Tyrrelstown’ amendment (see above) in order to terminate the Part 4 tenancy, the statutory declaration must also state that that the market value with a sitting tenant is over 20% below the market value with vacant possession, and that preventing him from terminating the tenancy would be unduly onerous on him or would cause him undue hardship.
The RTB’s sample notice of termination due to intention to sell (pdf) contains the required information and a sample statutory declaration.
Termination for three other specific reasons
There are particular rules if the landlord gives one of the following three reasons in the notice of termination:
- They need the property for their own use or for an immediate family member
- They plan to refurbish the property substantially and need vacant possession
- They intend to change the use of the property
The detailed rules are outlined below. In addition, if any of these three reasons is cited, you must also be told that if the dwelling becomes available for letting within a certain period and you have given the landlord your contact details, they must offer you a tenancy. (This requirement does not apply if your tenancy is being ended due to a breach of your obligations, overcrowding or the property being sold.)
If the landlord needs the property for their own use or for an immediate family member, you must be given the following information in writing, along with the notice of termination: the person’s name; their relationship to the landlord; and how long they will occupy the dwelling. The notice must also include a statutory declaration stating that the landlord needs the property for their own use or for an immediate family member. The RTB’s sample notice of termination when the landlord needs the property (pdf) contains the required information and a sample statutory declaration.
If the landlord intends to refurbish the property to the extent that it needs to be vacant, they must state the nature of the works in writing, along with the notice of termination. If planning permission is required, the notice must be accompanied by a copy of the permission. If planning permission is not required, the notice must state this and must provide the name of the contractor (if any); the dates of the intended works; and their proposed duration – see the RTB’s sample notice of termination due to intention to refurbish (pdf).
If the landlord intends to change the use of the property (and has obtained any necessary planning permission) they must state the nature of the change in writing, along with the notice of termination. The notice must confirm that any necessary planning permission has been received. The RTB’s sample notice of termination due to change of use (pdf) contains the required information.
Under section 56 of the 2004 Act, you can complain to the RTB in the following situations:
- If your landlord has ended your tenancy for one of the three reasons specified above, the property becomes available for re-letting and they do not offer you a tenancy
- If they did not carry out the intention stated in the notice of termination – either one of the above three reasons or sale of the property
If the RTB upholds your complaint, it may direct the landlord to pay you damages or to reinstate your tenancy, or both.
Sample notices for termination in other situations
The RTB’s sample notices cover several other situations, for instance if the landlord is terminating your tenancy due to rent arrears. In this case you must have received a written warning notice at least 14 days before the notice of termination is issued – see ‘Notice periods’ below. The RTB’s sample (pdf) contains both of these notices.
Sample notices of termination are also available for breach of tenant obligations (pdf) and anti-social behaviour (pdf). There is also a sample notice for when the dwelling is no longer suited to your household’s needs (pdf). In this case, the notice must be accompanied by a signed and dated statement of the number of bed spaces in the property and the reasons why it is no longer suitable, having regard to the bed spaces and the size and composition of your household.
Slips or omissions
Section 30 of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 deals with slips or omissions that are contained in the notice or that occurred during its service. This section provides that, when dealing with a dispute in respect of a notice of termination, an adjudicator (or the Tenancy Tribunal) may make a determination that such a slip or omission shall not of itself render the notice of termination invalid, if the adjudicator or Tribunal is satisfied that:
- The slip or omission concerned does not prejudice, in a material respect, the notice of termination, and
- The notice of termination is otherwise in compliance with the provisions of the Act
Read more on the websites of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) and Threshold.