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Residential Tenancies Act 2004
Preliminary and General
1. —This Act may be cited as the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 .
2. —This Act shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister may appoint by order or orders either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so appointed for different purposes or different provisions.
Application of Act.
3. —(1) Subject to subsection (2), this Act applies to every dwelling, the subject of a tenancy (including a tenancy created before the passing of this Act).
(2) Subject to section 4 (2), this Act does not apply to any of the following dwellings—
(a) a dwelling that is used wholly or partly for the purpose of carrying on a business, such that the occupier could, after the tenancy has lasted 5 years, make an application under section 13(1)(a) of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 in respect of it,
(b) a dwelling to which Part II of the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Act 1982 applies,
(c) a dwelling let by or to—
(i) a public authority, or
(ii) a body standing approved for the purposes of section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 and which is occupied by a person referred to in section 9(2) of the Housing Act 1988 ,
(d) a dwelling, the occupier of which is entitled to acquire, under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents) (No. 2) Act 1978 , the fee simple in respect of it,
(e) a dwelling occupied under a shared ownership lease,
(f) a dwelling let to a person whose entitlement to occupation is for the purpose of a holiday only,
(g) a dwelling within which the landlord also resides,
(h) a dwelling within which the spouse, parent or child of the landlord resides and no lease or tenancy agreement in writing has been entered into by any person resident in the dwelling,
(i) a dwelling the subject of a tenancy granted under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 or under Part III of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1931 or which is the subject of an application made under section 21 of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 and the court has yet to make its determination in the matter.
4. —(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“adjudicator” shall be construed in accordance with section 164 (2);
“authorised agent” shall be construed in accordance with section 12 (1)(e);
“Board” shall be construed in accordance with section 150 (1);
“child” includes a person who is no longer a minor and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;
“company” means a company within the meaning of the Companies Acts 1963 to 2003;
“contract of tenancy” does not include an agreement to create a tenancy;
“Director” shall be construed in accordance with section 160 (1);
“Dispute Resolution Committee” shall be construed in accordance with section 157 (2);
“dwelling” means, subject to subsection (2), a property let for rent or valuable consideration as a self-contained residential unit and includes any building or part of a building used as a dwelling and any out office, yard, garden or other land appurtenant to it or usually enjoyed with it and, where the context so admits, includes a property available for letting but excludes a structure that is not permanently attached to the ground and a vessel and a vehicle (whether mobile or not);
“establishment day” means the day appointed under section 149 ;
“functions” includes powers and duties and references to the performance of functions include, as respects power and duties, references to the exercise of the powers and the carrying out of the duties;
“further Part 4 tenancy” shall be construed in accordance with section 41 (2) or 45(2), as appropriate;
“local authority” means a local authority for the purposes of the Local Government Act 2001 ;
“management company”, in relation to an apartment complex, means the company in which functions are vested with respect to the management of the apartment complex;
“mediator” shall be construed in accordance with section 164 (1);
“Minister” means the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government;
“Part 4 tenancy” shall be construed in accordance with section 29 ;
“personal representative” has the same meaning as it has in the Succession Act 1965 ;
“planning permission” means a permission under section 34 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 ;
“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under this Act;
“public authority” means—
(a) a Minister of the Government or a body under the aegis of a Minister of the Government,
(b) the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland,
(c) a local authority,
(d) a health board established under the Health Act 1970 ,
(e) the Eastern Regional Health Authority or an area health board established under the Health (Eastern Regional Health Authority) Act 1999 ,
(f) a voluntary body standing approved of by the Minister for Health and Children or by a health board or an authority or board mentioned in paragraph (e) of this definition for the purpose of providing accommodation for elderly persons or persons with a mental handicap or psychiatric disorder,
(g) a recognised educational institution, namely, any university, technical college, regional technical college, secondary or technical college or other institution or body of persons approved of, for the purpose of providing an approved course of study, by the Minister for Education and Science, or
(h) the Shannon Free Airport Development Company;
“remuneration” includes fees, allowances for expenses, benefits-inkind and superannuation;
“required period of notice”, in relation to a notice of termination, means the period of notice required by Part 4 or 5 or, if greater, by the lease or tenancy agreement concerned;
“self-contained residential unit” includes the form of accommodation commonly known as “bedsit” accommodation;
“shared ownership lease” has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1992;
“superannuation benefit” means a pension, gratuity or other allowance payable on resignation, retirement or death;
“tenancy agreement” includes an oral tenancy agreement;
“Tribunal” shall be construed in accordance with section 102 (2).
(2) The definition of “dwelling” in subsection (1) shall not apply in relation to the construction of references to “dwelling” to which this subsection applies; each such reference shall be construed as a reference to any building or part of a building used as a dwelling (whether or not a dwelling let for rent or valuable consideration) and any out office, yard, garden or other land appurtenant to it or usually enjoyed with it.
(3) Subsection (2) applies to the following references to “dwelling” (whether in the singular or plural form) in this Act, namely—
(a) the second of the references in section 12 (1)(h),
(b) the first and last of the references in paragraph (c)(ii) and paragraph (c)(iii) of the definition of “behave in a way that is anti-social” in section 17 (1),
(c) the reference in subsection (2)(a) of section 25 to whichever of the dwellings mentioned in that subsection is not the subject of the tenancy mentioned in subsection (1) of that section,
(d) the references in subsection (2)(b) and (c) of section 25 , and
(e) the second of the references in sections 136(h), 187(1) and 188(1).
(4) In this Act—
(a) a reference to a section or Part is a reference to a section or Part of this Act unless it is indicated that reference to some other enactment is intended,
(b) a reference to a Chapter is a reference to the Chapter of the Part in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended,
(c) a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is a reference to the subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended, and
(d) a reference to any other enactment is a reference to that enactment as amended or extended by or under any subsequent enactment.
“relevant date”, “landlord”, “tenant”, “lease”, etc.
5. —(1) In this Act—
“landlord” means the person for the time being entitled to receive (otherwise than as agent for another person) the rent paid in respect of a dwelling by the tenant thereof and, where the context so admits, includes a person who has ceased to be so entitled by reason of the termination of the tenancy;
“lease” means an instrument in writing, whether or not under seal, containing a contract of tenancy in respect of a dwelling;
“relevant date” means the date on which Part 4 is commenced;
“tenancy” includes a periodic tenancy and a tenancy for a fixed term, whether oral or in writing or implied, and, where the context so admits, includes a sub-tenancy and a tenancy or sub-tenancy that has been terminated;
“tenant” means the person for the time being entitled to the occupation of a dwelling under a tenancy and, where the context so admits, includes a person who has ceased to be entitled to that occupation by reason of the termination of his or her tenancy.
(2) A reference in this Act to—
(a) the landlord of a dwelling is a reference to the landlord under a tenancy of the dwelling, and
(b) the tenant of a dwelling is a reference to the tenant under a tenancy of the dwelling.
(3) Subject to subsection (4), in this Act “costs”, in relation to a matter being dealt with by the Board, a mediator, an adjudicator or the Tribunal or a determination or direction made or given by it or him or her, does not include—
(a) legal costs or expenses, or
(b) costs or expenses of any other professional kind or of employing any person with technical expertise that are connected wholly or mainly with the provision of evidence for, or the presentation of one or more issues at, the proceedings.
(4) Despite subsection (3), the Board or, with the consent of the Board, a mediator, an adjudicator or the Tribunal may if, in its or his or her opinion the exceptional circumstances of the matter so warrant, determine that any element of costs the subject of a determination or direction made or given by it or him or her shall include costs referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of that subsection.
Service of notices.
6. —(1) A notice required or authorised to be served or given by or under this Act shall, subject to subsection (2), be addressed to the person concerned by name and may be served on or given to the person in one of the following ways:
(a) by delivering it to the person;
(b) by leaving it at the address at which the person ordinarily resides or, in a case in which an address for service has been furnished, at that address;
(c) by sending it by post in a prepaid letter to the address at which the person ordinarily resides or, in a case in which an address for service has been furnished, to that address;
(d) where the notice relates to a dwelling and it appears that no person is in actual occupation of the dwelling, by affixing it in a conspicuous position on the outside of the dwelling or the property containing the dwelling.
(2) Where the notice concerned is to be served on or given to a person who is the owner, landlord, tenant or occupier of a dwelling and the name of the person cannot be ascertained by reasonable inquiry it may be addressed to the person by using the words the owner, the landlord, the tenant or the occupier, as the case may require.
(3) For the purposes of this section, a company shall be deemed to be ordinarily resident at its registered office, and every other body corporate and every unincorporated body shall be deemed to be ordinarily resident at its principal office or place of business.
(4) A person shall not, at any time during the period of 3 months after a notice is affixed under subsection (1)(d) remove, damage or deface the notice without lawful authority.
(5) A person who contravenes subsection (4) is guilty of an offence.
(6) Where, in proceedings under Part 6, it is shown that a notice was served or given in accordance with the provisions of this section and on the date that it is alleged it was served or given, the onus shall be on the recipient to establish to the Board, the adjudicator or Tribunal's satisfaction that the notice was not received in sufficient time to enable compliance with the relevant time limit specified by or under this Act.
Service or giving of notice on behalf of another.
7. —Where a notice required or authorised to be served or given by or under this Act is served or given on behalf of a person, the notice shall be deemed to be served or given by that person.
Regulations and orders.
8. —(1) The Minister may make regulations prescribing any matter or thing which is referred to in this Act as prescribed or to be prescribed.
(2) Every order (other than an order made under section 2 or 149) and regulation made by the Minister under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order or regulation is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the order or regulation is laid before it, the order or regulation shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.
(3) The Minister may be order amend or revoke an order under this Act (other than an order under section 2 or 149).
(4) An order under subsection (3) shall be made in the like manner and its making shall be subject to the like (if any) consents and conditions as the order that it is amending or revoking.
9. —(1) A person guilty of an offence under this Act shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.
(2) If the contravention in respect of which a person is convicted of an offence under this Act is continued after the conviction, the person is guilty of a further offence on every day on which the contravention continues and for each such offence the person shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €250.
(3) Proceedings in relation to an offence under this Act may be brought and prosecuted by the Board.
(4) Notwithstanding section 10(4) of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act 1851, proceedings for an offence under this Act may be instituted at any time within one year after the date of the offence.
(5) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this Act the court shall, unless it is satisfied that there are special and substantial reasons for not so doing, order the person to pay to the Board the costs and expenses, measured by the court, incurred by the Board in relation to the investigation, detection and prosecution of the offence.
Repeal and revocation.
10. —(1) Section 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1912 is repealed.
(2) The Housing (Registration of Rented Houses) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 30 of 1996) are revoked.
11. —The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.