Supporting Local News

41% of lease termination notices brought Threshold in Galway were invalid


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

41% of lease termination notices brought Threshold in Galway were invalid 41% of lease termination notices brought Threshold in Galway were invalid

From the Galway City Tribune – An exodus of small landlords from the rental market is piling pressure onto an already desperate situation.

Figures released by Threshold, which provides independent advice to those facing housing problems, show that just under 500 people in Galway City required their assistance in the final three months of 2022.

Western Regional Services Manager, Karina Timothy, told the Galway City Tribune that the number one reason for those presenting with notices of termination was as a result of their landlord selling up.

“Small landlords, as in those with one or two properties, are leaving the market – and the problem is they’re not being replaced.

“We don’t have much engagement with landlords, but we know from what people coming into us are saying and from the reports in media that people are selling up and getting out, mostly because house prices are high and it’s a good time to sell,” said Ms Timothy.

Threshold advisors assess notices of termination brought to them by private renters, ensuring that they are valid and meet the requirements as set out by the Residential Tenancies Act.

This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. A one-year digital subscription costs just €89.00. The print edition is in shops every Friday.

Of the notices brought to Threshold in Galway City, 41% were found to be invalid for a variety of reasons, as Ms Timothy explained.

“The Residential Tenancies Act is very prescriptive and a notice of termination, when it is being served, has to be written just so. If it’s not, that notice is invalid,” she said.

“We also come across issues where a landlord serves a notice of termination when they have no right to, in cases where there’s a fixed term lease.

“If a tenant contacts us, an advisor will drill down into the notice to ensure the landlord has given the correct notice period based on the length of tenancy,” continued Ms Timothy.

Very specific requirements must be met in cases where a claim is made that a landlord who is living abroad is returning home, an apostille must be attached – a legal document confirming their intention to return to Ireland.

Similarly in the case where it has been claimed that a tenant must leave to facilitate the sale of a property.

“When they are serving the notice, it must be accompanied by a statutory declaration,” said Ms Timothy.

In the case of terminations for sale, 19% of tenants that presented to Threshold in quarter four of 2022 found that the notice was invalid.

Ms Timothy said that in some cases, landlords reissue the notice, fulfilling their requirements under law.

“The grounds for the notice can be disputed though and in those cases, we are sometimes able to protect the tenancy and the tenant can remain in the property.

“In some cases, we represent the tenant at a hearing before the Residential Tenancies Board,” she said.

As well as assessing notices of termination, Threshold’s free service also provides confidential support and advice to renters across a variety of areas.

The top reason Galway City tenants were in contact at the end of last year was due to concerns over rent increases, making up 29% of the 498 consultations carried out.

Notices of termination accounted for 21% of the Galway City Threshold’s work, in addition to general termination queries – where concern was expressed that a termination was coming – amounted to 9%.

Ms Timothy said there was huge anxiety amongst Galway renters and while the evictions moratorium in place over winter was providing some reprieve, it was a short-term solution – and there was no sign of anything more long-term.

“We simply need more houses – social, private, affordable. Things have got worse recently and we are dealing with people who are really stressed and worried because they’re asking themselves, ‘where the hell are we going to go?’,” she said.

Those seeking the advice of Threshold can call 1800 454454 or visit where email and live chat options are available.

(Photo: Karina Timothy of Threshold with Senator Seán Kyne: small landlords are leaving the market and are not being replaced).

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up