Our landlord phoned to ask us to leave the house we have rented for the last three years because he plans to sell the house. Do we have to accept this?
As you have been renting the house for three years, you have what is called a “Part 4 tenancy”, which gives you certain rights. The landlord can only end your tenancy for certain specified reasons. An intention to sell the property within three months counts as a valid reason.
However, a phone call is not a valid form of notice. You must get a written notice of termination, signed and dated, stating the reason for termination and giving you the proper period of notice, which, in your case, as you have rented for three years, is 12 weeks (84 days). When a landlord plans to sell the property, the notice of termination must include a statement that he intends to sell the property within three months after the tenancy ends. The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) publishes sample notices of termination with the detailed information that is required in various situations. In the case of a planned sale, the wording of the required statement is: “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 three months after the termination of the tenancy”.
Your landlord must also make a statutory declaration that he intends to enter into an enforceable agreement to sell his full interest in the house. (A statutory declaration is a solemn statement, which must be signed in the presence of someone who is authorised to witness statutory declarations – such as a practising solicitor, a Peace Commissioner, a notary public or a Commissioner for Oaths.) The RTB’s sample notice of termination for a landlord planning to sell contains sample wording for this statutory declaration, which you should receive along with the notice of termination.
If your landlord is found to have evicted you illegally, he may be required to pay you substantial damages.
Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000