Invalid notice period - PRTB Advice needed


#1

Some advice needed from the more expierienced heads on here.

After selling our house three years ago (phew!!) we have been renting a lovely house ever since.

We have had three fixed term contracts for a year a piece - the current one expires on 01 OCT 2011 - meaning we have 33 months continuous tenancy.

Recently the landlord tried to serve me with 30 days notice to vacate despite the fact that we have been there almost three years.

He claims that because the lease has a clause saying 30 days that he doesnt have to abide by the statutory 56 days.

Following legal advice I have been informed that I am governed by the RTA 2004 and not the lease and that I am entitled to the legal notice period of 56 days.

The landlord disputes this and wants us out on the 31st Day to move a family member in.

I just wanted to know if anyone could advise on the following;

If I lodge a dispute with the PRTB does the landlord have any right to come near the property or does he have to wait until the PRTB decision is made. Obviously if he requests a visit I will accomodate him but I am concerned about him showing up the day after his invalid notice period expires.

All advice is gratefully received


#2

Nasty… Why did you sign fixed term leases? That’s where the confusion comes from, you should have signed a rolling lease with reference to the PRTB notice periods to clear up matters.

As it stands, the PRTB disputes waiting list is something like 9 months so I’d imagine you’ll have a civil matter on your hands before the PRTB get anywhere near it.

Your best (and probably only) bet is to reach some kind of compromise with the landlord. Down the road, the PRTB might find in your favour and you may even get a few quid out of it but you’ll be inconvenienced in the interim to a greater degree.


#3

Thanks for the reply

The fixed term leases were signed as we never really decided how long we intended on staying in the house, we always had one eye on the property market as we had a sizeable deposit from our last house sale.

Regarding the “civil matter” I thought civil proceedings could not be taken while there was a case pending with the PRTB.


#4

I mean the landlord on the doorstep with the sledgehammer and a phalanx of Gardaí…

The fixed term leases were redundant as you are now placing reliance on the PRTB in any case! If you signed the notice period as 30 days, I think on balance, you should honour that and put it down to experience!


#5

Well surely that would only work less in his favour.

I am presuming your reply was slightly tongue in cheek as I cannot see how the Gardai would get involved if there was a dispute pending.

The Gardai involvement would surely indicate that the Gardai have reviewed the case, decided that the landlord was correct issued that adjudication and issued me with 14 days notice to vacate i.e. The Gardai have now replaced the PRTB for tenancy disputes ( I am sure the PRTB will be delighted to hear that the Gardai have taken up some of their workload :smiley: )


#6

Is the landlord a member of the force perchance! :angry:


#7

No


#8

Either way, I’d still wager they’ll come down on his side of the issue…

Any other thoughts on how to play this people…


#9

That makes no sense. Fixed term leases are of little benefit to a tenant and you should always just take a part 4 tenancy when it occurs. Regardless of the lease you are still on a part4 and should be issued with longer notice.


#10

The system is heavily weighted in favour of the tenant, particularly the deliquent one (not that the OP is).

Saf, the bottom line is that there is little really that the landlord can do except physically turf you and your family out, if he does so you can then get a fast tracked hearing before the PRTB (which wouldn’t happen if, for example, he was chasing you for rent) and you’d probably get an award of several thousand euro (happened to a client who kicked out a tenant who was several months in arrears. I told him not to!)

My own view is that the Act takes precedence over the terms of a lease but some colleagues disagree. I have had a look again at the Act and that remains my view. Basically what it appears to say (it is a statute after all) is that all tenancies are now subject to the notice periods in the Act except in the case of a fixed term tenancy where there has been a failure to comply with the terms of the tenancy (e.g. having a pet in the house or whatever)


#11

What’s the current waiting on a “fast tracked hearing” stifster?

I reckon you put all this into an email to the landlord and he’ll reach a compromise!!!


#12

I’m afraid I don’t know and i can’t remember the clients name so i cant check to see how quickly it was 2 years ago when it happened. For some reason this is one area that i have done nothing on in the last 2 years.

At one point i had two clients who were waiting a year for their applications (both rent arrears) to be heard, while the third (mentioned above) was in and out within a month to the best of my recollection.

I had to try and argue that a text message was proper notice…


#13

And? :smiley:


#14

Give PRTB a ring and go through to the disputes department. They’ll tell you whether the contract takes precedence over the Part 4 tenancy. I spoke to them last week about a dispute and they’re pretty helpful with the legalities.


#15

There’s no going down in flames smiley…

Still I didn’t actually get laughed at.


#16

thanks for all the replies.

Just to clarify a few points - I was under the belief that the 30 day clause was only if I had breached part of the agreement. I have not

There is no rent arrears and never been a single issue between us in three years.

I have tried to compromise with th LL by saying that we need more than 30 days to identify a suitable replacement and move (the house was unfurnished so we have all our own stuff) and I do not want to stay until the end of the fixed term only until I am happy with our alternative accomodation.

He is not in the mood for any compromise and is insisting we move now (well, in three weeks)

My solicitor believes that even if he invokes the 30 day clause that the RTA 2004 takes precednece and should be 56 days

So again back to my original Q - Is he allowed to turf us out or to take any action against us while a dispute is pending with the PRTB


#17

No, because the notice served was invalid. Any attempt to evict would then be considered an illegal eviction. A few years ago people were being awarded 10k+ for these events. If you can find one of those orders and email it on to him it should shut him up.

Here is a 15K award for starters.

public.prtb.ie/2006Disputes/TRIB … Report.pdf


#18

and even if it was valid, his only course of action is to go through the PRTB…


#19

The advice above seems correct.

It is more difficult to rent an unfurnished house, although, if you are prepared to pay a few hundred more per month, you no doubt will succeed. You have my even greater pity if, in addition to requiring an unfurnished house, you have a dog…

It could easily cost €400 in van removal costs just to move your stuff 2 minutes’ drive down the road, not to mention the subsequent scratches on your furniture, so moving is no joke. That said, you didn’t do too badly, by Irish standards, to knock 3 years out of your current house.

My understanding has always been that the RTA takes precedence over a lease, but I’m not certain. I also thought that the longer one rents, the longer the notice period from the landlord needs to be, with 30 days being the minimal amount. I would have thought someone with your length of tenancy should be given 6 weeks, but that’s just going from vague memory.

You could ring some random estate agent who specialises in property lettings and see do they know.

I would start looking around for alternative accomodation. As soon as you see a place that’s suitable - accept and sign up immediately, as, in some parts, houses let very quickly indeed.

In the meantime if, despite your greatest efforts, an unfurnished house fails to become available, precious little your landlord can do to turf you out in the short term.

Do your best to move as quickly as possible would be my advice to you. Failing that, if you’ve no home to go to, then you’ll just have to stay a little longer. But aim to leave as soon as you can.


#20

you are entitled to 56 days notice of termination