How much notice do we have to give the tenant in an apartment we plan to sell?

Property Clinic: New legislation increases time landlords must give to tenants

The landlord has to give the tenants minimum notice but the tenants do not have to give the landlords notice after receiving a form. Photograph: Antonio Guillem/iStock

The landlord has to give the tenants minimum notice but the tenants do not have to give the landlords notice after receiving a form. Photograph: Antonio Guillem/iStock

 

We’ve had a tenant in our negative equity investment apartment for seven years but it’s finally time to sell up. Exactly how much notice do we have to give him, and does it have to be in the form of a legal letter?

Your question is timely as new legislation has been introduced increasing notice periods to tenants where the landlord is selling.

Firstly, you should to go to the Residential Tenancies Board website where you will find the relevant template termination form to give your tenant notice. The notice to terminate the tenancy is accompanied by a statutory declaration which is on the template. When you sign the declaration it will have to be witnessed by a solicitor. The notice period for a tenant renting a property for more than seven but less than eight years is 196 days and add another few days on to that to ensure that you give adequate notice.

The RTB insists that the notices are correct to ensure that the law is being applied consistently across the board. It’s important to read it and reread it before you insert your information in the template as numerous landlords have found themselves in difficulty by serving incorrect notices and having to restart the process from scratch. Please note that this is not a very arduous process but I am surprised at the number of landlords and their representatives that get it wrong.

Finally, please note that the notice to the tenants reads “on or before”. Accordingly, the tenant can actually vacate the day after receiving the notice so if the tenant has paid you the month’s rent in advance and they vacate four or five days into that month you will have to refund them the balance of that month.

The landlord has to give the tenants minimum notice but the tenants do not have to give the landlords notice which is fair considering that it’s you that wants vacant possession to sell the property. I would imagine that it is in the landlord’s interest that the property is returned to them at the earliest possible opportunity to prepare same for selling.

Kersten Mehl is a property manager and estate agent and is a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie

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