If your landlord wants you to leave
Landlords must follow certain rules before asking you to leave your rented accommodation. They must also give you a minimum amount of notice, depending on how long your tenancy has lasted. These rules apply to private landlords, approved housing bodies and people who let student-specific accommodation.
Terminating a tenancy
If your landlord wants you to leave your accommodation, they must serve you with a written notice of termination and give you the correct amount of notice.
If your tenancy has lasted less than 6 months your landlord can ask you to leave without giving you a reason. If your tenancy has lasted more than 6 months your landlord must give you a valid reason why they are terminating the tenancy.
If you have a fixed-term tenancy, your landlord cannot end the tenancy before the end of the fixed term unless you breach your obligations. A fixed-term tenancy is an agreement that covers a specific amount of time. It is generally set down in a written contract, called a lease. It may be for any period, but can range from 6 months up to a year or more.
What is a valid reason for ending a tenancy after the first 6 months?
Generally, your landlord can only end a tenancy after the first 6 months if:
- You do not comply with the obligations of the tenancy, for example, by not paying your rent on time
- The property is no longer suited to your needs, for example, if it is too small
- The landlord intends to sell the property within 9 months. However, this may not apply if the landlord plans to sell 10 or more dwellings in a development within a 6-month period – see ‘Restriction on terminating when selling multiple properties’ below
- The landlord needs the property for their own use or for an immediate family member (this only applies to private landlords)
- The landlord plans to change the use of the property (for example, convert it from residential use to office use)
- The landlord intends to refurbish the property substantially
Exceptions to the valid reasons for ending a tenancy
There are certain situations when these valid reasons for ending a tenancy do not apply, see below.
Landlords’ right to end certain tenancies after 6 years
If your tenancy was created before 11 June 2022, your landlord can terminate your tenancy for any reason when you have rented for 6 years. The landlord must:
- Serve a notice of termination before the end of the 6 years, and
- Give a notice period that expires on or after the end of the tenancy
If the tenancy is not ended after 6 years, a new tenancy will begin. This new tenancy will be a tenancy of unlimited duration and the above exception will no longer apply.
By June 2028, all tenancies will be tenancies of unlimited duration and the above exception will no longer apply. This is because all existing 6-year cycle tenancies will have ended by then.
Exceptions to Part 4 rights
If you are renting a self-contained flat or apartment in your landlord’s home, which was originally part of the main house, your landlord can choose to opt out of the Part 4 provisions. If your landlord wants to take this option, you must get notice of this in writing, before the start of the tenancy.
Tenants of certain properties let by housing associations do not get Part 4 rights. For example, people living in transitional housing. Transitional housing is temporary supported accommodation that helps people move from homelessness to independent living in permanent accommodation.
Part 4 rights do not apply to tenants in student-specific accommodation.
Additional rules when ending a tenancy for a valid reason
Additional rules apply if your landlord ends your tenancy for certain valid reasons.
Requirement to offer property back to the tenant
If your landlord ends your tenancy for one of the below reasons and the property then becomes available to rent again, the landlord must offer the property back to you within 12 months of the expiry of your notice period.
They must do this if they ended your tenancy because they:
- Planned to sell the property within 9 months
- Needed the property for their own use or for an immediate family member
- Planned to change the use of the property
- Planned to refurbish the property substantially
Your landlord must make every reasonable effort to get your contact details, so they can offer the property back to you. This includes contacting the RTB to ask for them. The RTB may have your contact details to give to the landlord or they may contact you to get them. The RTB will only pass your details to the landlord if you have given your consent to do this.
When your landlord contacts you to offer to re-let the property to you, you have 7 days to accept or reject this offer.
Restriction on terminating tenancies when selling multiple properties
A landlord cannot terminate a tenancy of more than 6 months if they intend to sell 10 or more dwellings in a development within a 6-month period, unless:
- They can show that the market value with a sitting tenant is over 20% below the market value with vacant possession, and
- Preventing them from terminating the tenancy would be unduly onerous on them or would cause them undue hardship
This provision is often called the ‘Tyrrelstown’ amendment and it is provided for under Section 40 of the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016.
Notice of termination
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. Emails and text messages do not 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.
Your landlord must also send a copy of the notice of termination to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB). This must be done at the same time as it is sent to you. It can be emailed to NoticeofTermination@rtb.ie or posted to the RTB along with the RTB Notice of Termination Return form (pdf).
If this is not done, the notice of termination is invalid. The RTB recommends that landlords use certified post when posting the notice of termination to the tenant and the RTB, and that they keep proof of this.
When the RTB receives the notice of termination it will:
- Write to you and your landlord about the RTB services and outline your rights and responsibilities under residential tenancies legislation
- Ask for your contact details in case the landlord needs them to offer the property back to you. This will only be done with your consent
This requirement is in place since 6 July 2022, when it was brought in under the Regulation of Providers of Building Works and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2022.
What is a valid notice of termination?
The law sets out the requirements for a valid notice of termination. It must:
- Be in writing (an email is not sufficient)
- 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 6 months or is a fixed-term tenancy. (This does not have to be included for tenancies in student-specific accommodation.)
- State that any issue about the validity of the notice or the right of the landlord to serve it must be referred to the RTB within 90 days from the receipt of the notice. (This 90-day timeframe applies unless the tenant is in breach of their obligations.)
Your landlord must give additional details in certain situations and, in some cases, a statutory declaration. The information below describes the additional details needed for each of the valid reasons for terminating your tenancy. The RTB also provides sample notices of termination, with the details required in each situation.
If the property is being sold
If your landlord intends to sell the property within 9 months of the terminating 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 9 months after the termination of the tenancy”.
The landlord must enter into a contract for sale within 9 months of the termination date. The notice must also include a statutory declaration stating the landlord’s intention to sell.
If the landlord is terminating a tenancy of more than 6 months based on the ‘Tyrrelstown’ amendment (see above), the statutory declaration must also state that:
- The market value with a sitting tenant is over 20% below the market value with vacant possession, and
- Preventing them from terminating the tenancy would be unduly onerous on them or would cause them undue hardship
The RTB’s sample notice of termination due to intention to sell (docx) contains the required information and a sample statutory declaration.
If your landlord ends your tenancy because they are selling the property and it becomes available for rent again, the landlord must offer it back to you within 12 months of the expiry of your notice period.
If your landlord needs the property for their own use or for an immediate family member
If the landlord ends your tenancy because they need 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
- 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 (docx) contains the required information and a sample statutory declaration.
If your landlord is substantially refurbishing the property
A tenancy can only be ended for this reason if the proposed works are substantial and mean that the property will have to be vacated. They must state the nature of the works in writing, along with the notice of termination. They must state:
- If planning permission is needed
- The name of the contractor (if any)
- The dates the intended works are to be carried out
- The proposed duration of the works
They must also include a certificate from a registered professional stating that:
- The works would be a health and safety risk to the occupants
- The property should be vacated while the works are being completed
- The length of time the property should be vacated in order to complete the works (this must be longer than 3 weeks)
See the RTB’s website for more information as well as a sample notice of termination due to intention to refurbish (docx).
The landlord must offer the property back to the original tenant when the refurbishment works have been completed.
If your landlord wants to change the use of the property
If your landlord wants to change the use of the property the landlord must include a statement setting out the nature of the change in writing, 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 (docx) contains the required information.
If the landlord ends your tenancy because they are changing its use, and the property then becomes available for rent again, the landlord must offer it back to you. This must be done within 12 months of the expiry of the tenants notice period.
If your tenancy is ending because of rent arrears, anti-social behaviour or other reasons
Your landlord can also end your tenancy if:
- You do not keep your tenant obligations, for example, if you don’t pay your rent
- The rental property no longer suits your needs
If your landlord is terminating your tenancy because you have broken your tenant obligations, you must get a written warning notice at least 28 days before the notice of termination is issued. However, if your behaviour is seriously anti-social they do not have to give you a warning notice. The 'Notice periods' section below has more information on this. The RTB has a sample notices of termination for rent arrears (docx), for breach of tenant responsibilities and for anti-social behaviour (docx).
If the rental property is no longer suitable for your household’s needs, the notice of termination must come with a signed and dated statement stating:
- The number of bed spaces in the property
- The reasons why the property is no longer suitable, given the bed spaces and the size and composition of your household
Making a complaint about a notice of termination
If you have a complaint about the reason your landlord gives for ending your tenancy
You can complain to the RTB if your landlord ends a tenancy because they are selling the property, changing its use, substantially refurbishing it, or because they need it for themselves or an immediate family member and:
- The property becomes available for re-letting and they do not offer you a tenancy
- They did not carry out the intention stated in the notice of termination
If the RTB upholds your complaint, it may direct the landlord to pay you damages or to reinstate your tenancy, or both.
Minor errors in a notice of termination
When dealing with a dispute about a notice of termination, an adjudicator (or the Tenancy Tribunal) can overlook a minor error or omission in a notice of termination. They can do this if the error does not prejudice the notice of termination and the notice would otherwise be valid. This is known as the ‘slip rule’ and it is set-out in Section 30 of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015
A ‘remedial notice’ can be issued that fixes the error with the original notice. For more information on remedial notices see the RTB’s website.
The length of notice required depends on the length of your tenancy.
|Length of tenancy||Notice that the landlord must give|
|Less than 6 months||90 days|
|6 months or longer but less than 1 year||152 days|
|1 year or longer but less than 7 years||180 days|
|7 years or longer but less than 8 years||196 days|
|More than 8 years||224 days|
These notice periods have applied since 6 July 2022, when changes under the Regulation of Providers of Building Works and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2022 took effect.
Exceptions to required notice periods
Not keeping your tenant obligations
If you are not keeping your obligations, your landlord must send you a warning notice before they can issue a notice of termination. The warning notice must outline what obligations have been broken and give you a reasonable amount of time to fix the issue. This warning notice does not need to be copied to the RTB. If you do not resolve the issue, the landlord only needs to give you 28 days’ notice of termination. This applies to all tenancies, regardless of the length of the tenancy.
However, if your behaviour is seriously anti-social or threatens the fabric of the property, the landlord only needs to give you 7 days’ notice and does not have to give you a warning notice. Section 17 (1) (a) and (b) of the 2004 Act sets out the type of seriously anti-social behaviour for which a 7-day notice may be allowed.
If you haven’t paid your rent, your landlord must send you a written rent arrears warning notice before they can issue a notice of termination. The rent arrears warning notice must state the amount of rent you owe and give you 28 days to pay it. The landlord must send a copy of the rent arrears warning notice to the RTB. The 28 days you have to pay the rent arrears counts from the date you and the RTB receive the warning notice. If the landlord does not send the warning notice to you and the RTB, a notice of termination will not be valid.
If you do not pay the rent arrears in the 28 days, your landlord can then give you 28 days’ notice of termination. The landlord must send the notice of termination to the RTB on the same day it is sent to you. If this is not done the notice of termination will be invalid.
This process for ending a tenancy because of rent arrears is set out in Section 12 of the Residential Tenancies and Valuation Act 2020.
Can a landlord and tenant agree a shorter notice period?
You and your landlord can agree a shorter notice period than the minimum periods set out above, but you can only do so when the landlord decides to terminate the tenancy. It is illegal to agree a shorter notice period at the start of the tenancy.
You and your landlord can also agree a longer notice period, but the maximum is 70 days when the tenancy has lasted less than 6 months.
Illegal eviction and overholding
What is illegal eviction?
An illegal eviction (or unlawful termination) is when your landlord stops you accessing your rented property or removes your belongings whether or not a valid notice of termination has been served.
If your landlord locks you out or physically evicts you, you may be able to apply for an injunction to force them to let you back into the property, or you may apply to the RTB to do so on your behalf.
If your landlord cuts off water, gas or electricity, you may be able to take legal action to restore the supply. In either case, you should get legal advice before you proceed. Your landlord cannot remove your possessions from your home while your tenancy is still in existence (though after a tenancy has ended, a landlord is under no legal obligation to store or look after your belongings).
If your landlord is going to refer a dispute to the RTB, you should get advice about your situation from Threshold or a solicitor. The Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) operates a network of legal advice clinics throughout Ireland. These clinics are confidential, free of charge and open to all. Contact your nearest Citizens Information Centre for information on FLAC services in your area. FLAC also runs an information and referral line during office hours for basic legal information.
What is overholding?
Overholding is when you stay in your rented accommodation after the tenancy termination date given on a valid notice of termination. Overholding is a breach of your tenancy agreement and the landlord’s rights. It sometimes happens when tenants can’t find somewhere else to rent when their tenancy ends. The fact that you can’t find alternative accommodation doesn’t mean that you have any right to remain in your rented accommodation.
If you are overholding, you should keep up your tenant obligations, such as paying the rent. Your landlord is not agreeing to continue the tenancy by accepting the rent.
If you are overholding, your landlord will probably refer the dispute to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to get you to leave. The RTB will adjudicate on the issue and may issue a determination order ordering you to leave. If you stay in your rented accommodation after you get the RTB determination order to leave, your landlord can go to District Court to get the order enforced and have you evicted. If you go to court for overholding, you may have to pay your landlord’s legal costs as well as your own.
If you are renting a room in your landlord’s home you are not covered by residential tenancies legislation so the process is different. Your landlord can go to court to get an injunction to get you to leave, or they may change the locks.
Overholding can make it more difficult to find rented accommodation in the future, as your landlord may not want to give you a reference. You can find more information about overholding on the RTB website.
What if I can’t find alternative accommodation?
If your landlord has asked you to leave and you can’t find alternative accommodation, you can contact organisations such as Threshold or Focus Ireland for advice. They can check if your Notice of Termination is valid and help you with the next steps.
If you find yourself homeless or you think you may lose your home, you should generally contact your local authority to access accommodation. There are supports available for people who are homeless and agencies that can help.
If your landlord is selling your rental property, you may be able to access supports announced when the eviction ban ended on 31 March 2023.
Social housing tenants renting from private landlords
If you are a social housing tenant and your private landlord wants to sell the home you are renting, the local authority can buy the home and you can continue to rent it from the local authority instead. This is known as the Tenant in Situ Scheme. It is aimed at people who are getting the Housing Assistance Payment or are part of the Rental Accommodation Scheme and whose landlords are leaving the rental market. You should contact your local authority for more information about this scheme.
Private tenants who want to buy their rented home
If you are renting privately and your landlord wants to sell your rental home, your landlord will have to offer to sell it to you first. This is known as First Right of Refusal. This measure is not available yet. It needs legislation to bring it into effect.
Your landlord can still sell you the home you are renting, if they want to and you can afford to buy it. You can use the First Home Scheme and the Local Authority Home Loan to help with the cost of buying your rental home. These schemes have been adapted so people in this situation can access them.
Private tenants at risk of homelessness
If you can’t afford to buy your rental home, or you don’t want to buy it, the Housing Agency can buy the home and rent it to you. You can access this scheme if you are a private tenant who has received a notice of termination and you are at risk of homelessness because your landlord is selling. This is a temporary scheme known as the Cost Rental Tenant in Situ Scheme. You should contact your local authority about this scheme. They will assess what supports you qualify for and give your details to the Housing Agency, if this scheme is suitable for you.