My tenant’s notice was up in May, when is he obliged to leave?

Property Clinic: Covid-19 emergency measures suspended all eviction notices

Media reports the suspension on eviction notices because of coronavirus may be extended.

Media reports the suspension on eviction notices because of coronavirus may be extended.

 

I served a six month notice to my tenant in November 2019 to vacate in mid-May 2020. Is this considered an eviction notice, and when is he obliged to leave?

The brevity of your query makes it difficult to ascertain precisely why you are serving notice. Normally if you were giving this length of notice it would indicate that you are either selling the property or a family member is moving into the property. The tenant would have been in occupation between 3 to 7 years to justify this notice.

When the Covid-19 emergency measures were introduced in March all notices were suspended so your notice is paused for three months and according to media reports the suspension may well be extended.

I take it you served a valid notice, addressed to the tenant, which reads that they “vacate on or before” the relevant date. I have seen first-hand the ever-increasing number of landlords leaving the market in the last few years and have personally served more than 100 of these notices for investors selling up.

Rarely do tenants wait until the final day of the notice to vacate as they are aware that they need to find alternative accommodation and they tend to start looking immediately. The tenant can literally move out the day after the notice is served.

One of the interesting consequences of the Covid-19 shutdown is the considerable increase in the website listings of property to rent, particularly in Dublin. This is probably as a consequence of the dramatic decline in Airbnb lettings.

I have always viewed the Airbnb phenomenon as a distortion of the rental market in Ireland and there is no question properties that would have been let for regular Part 4 tenancies – whereby tenants after a period of six months gain the right to stay in the property for a further five and a half years – were withdrawn from the market to enable landlords to engage in short term letting and so avoid having to comply with the 2004 Tenancies Act. The latter is the main legislation in Ireland governing the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants.

This Airbnb market is unlikely to open any time soon which is positive from your tenant’s perspective given the increased supply of properties which are now available to rent.

Kersten Mehl is a chartered residential agency surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie.

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