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Tenant Obligation to Notify Non-Renewal of Fixed-Term Lease?

  • 25-08-2022 4:14pm
    Registered Users Posts: 71 ✭✭

    A friend of mine was recently told she won't be getting her deposit back for failing to give her landlord adequate notice that she wasn't going to renew her fixed-term lease (12 month).

    She rang them 2 weeks in advance of the lease end-date to make arrangements about returning the keys. They had never asked her before this about her intentions (i.e. she never gave them any indication she would be renewing - they just assumed from her silence). They claimed she had a statutory obligation to give more notice, which she was in breach of.

    I have seen the lease document and it very clearly states it is fixed-term and there is no specific clause about the tenant giving notice.

    I understand that tenants have to give notice of ending a fixed-term tenancy early, but this was at the end. I also know there are general obligations and tenant notice periods for a part 4 tenancy, but does this still apply when it's concurrently a fixed-term one?

    (Yes, it was silly not to have informed them, but there were complex personal circumstances at play. She just wants to know now whether there is any point pursuing this with the RTB.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 41 just_a_gurl

    She rang them 2 weeks in advance of the lease end-date to make arrangements about returning the keys.

    Did she actually give them notice? You said she rang about returning the keys 2 weeks before the end date of the lease...was she ringing to return the keys at that point? i.e she actually gave them no notice she was leaving??

    My understanding is that she should have still given them a written notice of termination in line with Statute. After 6 months, regardless of whether or not you are in a fixed term lease or not, Part 4 tenancy commences and the RTA has obligations regarding notice periods that apply to both LL & tenant, no one can "opt out" of these obligations.

    Depending on when she was in residence it would come down to the fact that she should have given them either 90days notice or 6months (since July of this year). The LL would be entitled to the rent due for the correct notice period according to the RTA, and if she gave them none then...sorry but she kinda messed up on this one

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,005 ✭✭✭Sarn

    Just to correct the above, the notice period would have been 35 days (as the tenancy was less than 1 year and more than 6 months).

  • Registered Users Posts: 41 just_a_gurl

    I was just coming back on to edit @Sarn 'cos when I stepped away to make a coffee I went "Doh!"

    Thank you!!!! 😉

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,978 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer

    There is no need for a tenant to give notice when a fixed term lease is expiring. The tenant is supposed to give notice if continuing to remain after the term expires. Open a dispute with the RTB.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,938 ✭✭✭✭Giblet

    The landlord does not need notice for anything other than you choosing to remain in a Part 4 setup. They also can't just take a deposit without showing costs they have incurred ( which only applies if you remained without telling them, not left )

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,010 ✭✭✭✭Dav010


    Are you saying statutory notice periods do not apply to tenancies, because they have a fixed term?

  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭DFB-D

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,978 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer

    They apply to the landlord, not the tenant, hence section 195 of the Act.

  • Registered Users Posts: 71 ✭✭inisfree0504

    Thanks for the input folks. She's opened a dispute as the statutory framework is a funny one to interpret, but I'm inclined to agree that she had no legal obligation.

    I'm really only asking as I have an interest in law. I think s 195 is interesting (requiring tenants to give notice if they have an intention to stay at the end of a fixed term lease) because if don't exercise this right, my understanding is that you wouldn't have a right to stay after the lease expiry... And if you don't have a right to stay, how can you be penalised for not staying. It would be penalising you for something you have no legal right to do. And how could the landlord reasonably assume you were going to breach their rights by not acceding possession.

    The Part 4 Notice periods for tenants, therefore, really only make sense, on my reading, in the context of leases of unlimited duration where there is no concurrent fixed-term. On the other hand, almost all part 4 leases also run concurrently with fixed-term ones, so I'm not sure how much sense it makes for the section to have that limited a scope.

    Either way - she did give 2 weeks notice. Per the 35 days requirement, I think she should not have been deducted the full deposit (which amounted to a months' rent). At the least, it should have been calculated proportionately to the time the property was vacant after expiry of the lease, up to a max of 35 days after she gave notice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,938 ✭✭✭✭Giblet

    It's very simple, you DO have the right to stay after a fixed term lease in the example that it was for a year. After 6 months, you gain Part 4 rights. However, if you do not inform the Landlord, you may have to pay compensation for any fees incurred. i.e.: They put the place up on Daft. You still have the right to stay.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,978 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer

    That clearly implies that there is a presumption the tenant will leave at the end of the fixed term without having to serve notice. The tenant has to say whether they are staying on or not, not that they are leaving.

  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭DFB-D

    I certainly agree it's an oddity, but it's news to me if a tenant does not need to give notice at the end of a fixed term.

    That section does seem to contradict the tenant notice period and I am not sure an implication under this section means there is no notice required. Certainly something for landlords to get legal advice on..

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,978 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer

    There would be no need for that section if the tenant had to give a notice of termination. There is a presumption against surplusage in legislation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭DFB-D

    But there would be need if part 4 didn't apply for some reason, so I don't think any presumption can be made that another section does / does not apply.

    You may be right, but unless you are a solicitor with experience in the area, it is too much uncertainty to accept.

    Also in my experience, there can frequently be contradictions between sections, but past rulings exist to clarify, otherwise there is only a reasoned response with risks of non acceptance as legal advice available.

    At the moment, I think all landlords would expect notice from a tenant in part 4.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,978 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer

    Part 4 is irrelevant. It expressly says in that section that the tenant can choose to remain on any bais open to him which means the section is not confined to part 4 cases. landlords have no right to expect a notice of termination. they must presume the tenant will go unless informed otherwise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,938 ✭✭✭✭Giblet

    Rights that contradict each other, tend to favour the right that benefits the tenant the most.

  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭DFB-D

    The right to remain does not contradict only the right to terminate without notice.

    But maybe the OP can update us when they submit a case which will be clearer rather than discussing high theory with no examples.