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Landlord and Tenant Law to be reformed says Minister for Justice

19 April, 2011

AT LEAST 35 pre-1922 statutes relating to landlord and tenant law, some dating from the 17th century, will be repealed under proposed legislation announced by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter yesterday.

Mr Shatter said a “modern landlord and tenant code applicable to business tenancies” was needed to help Ireland’s economic recovery.

Ancient “eviction” remedies available to landlords would be abolished and replaced by an updated statutory redress scheme, he added, as he published an information paper and draft Bill aimed at reforming law in the area.

The draft Bill contains a number of measures aimed at removing legislative provisions that militate against commercial practice and the operation of free market choice. It also seeks to ensure that agreements would not have unintended and unforeseen consequences.

It outlines the formalities for the creation of the relationship between landlord and tenant; the position of successors in title to the original landlord and tenant; general obligations between the two along with the specific obligations of both landlord and tenant; remedies for the enforcement of obligations and the termination of the relationship.

The paper and Bill are published on the Department of Justice website and are largely based on reform proposals made by the Law Reform Commission in 2007, which also included a draft Bill.

Announcing the consultation process, Mr Shatter said the issue of upward-only rent reviews was being dealt with separately and would not be delayed by the consultation. In light of the difficult economic circumstances, consultations were ongoing with the Attorney General on this issue so that it could be progressed as expeditiously as possible, he said.

“While the law relating to residential tenancies was updated in 2004, our general landlord and tenant law dates back to Deasy’s Act in the middle of the 19th century and is greatly in need of reform. A modern landlord and tenant code applicable to business tenancies is essential for our economic recovery and the entire landlord and tenant code needs to be updated to make it fit for purpose in the 21st century.”

The proposed Bill also seeks to consolidate existing legislation, notably the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Acts of 1984, 1989 and 1994. Submissions from interested parties will be accepted up to May 31st