Can a landlord end a rental if he is gradually moving back to his property?
Your property questions answered
Rental agreement: landlords can end tenancies if they want to move back in themselves. Photograph: Getty
Q: The law says a landlord is entitled to terminate a part 4 tenancy where the landlord wants to live in the dwelling him- or herself. The landlord I want to ask about has been living and working abroad for many years, and renting out his Irish home. He has been visiting Ireland regularly, spending about three months a year here recently. He now wants to move back to Ireland gradually, so he’ll need to regain possession of his home; he hopes to bring over his personal belongings and live there while still coming and going. Does this plan meet the requirement of the legislation?
A: The simple answer is yes. Even though the landlord doesn’t intend to live there full time, the fact that he is using it as his home address in Ireland and is not letting it out will satisfy legislation. Therefore he is entitled to terminate the tenancy, as he will effectively be moving back into the property.
Section 62 of the Residential Tenancies Act specifies the minimum notice that the landlord must give the tenant when terminating the lease; the notice period depends on the duration of the tenancy:
< 6 months: 28 days
6 months < 1 year: 35 days
1 year < 2 years: 42 days
2 years < 3 years: 56 days
3 years < 4 years: 84 days
4 years < 5 years: 112 days
5 years < 6 years: 140 days
6 years < 7 years: 168 days
7 years < 8 years: 196 days
8 or more years: 224 days
Section 34 of the Act outlines the reasons why a landlord can terminate a tenancy. In your case the landlord must include a statutory declaration that he will be occupying the property. John O’Sullivan