The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter, T.D., has announced his intention to bring forward proposals to reform and streamline landlord and tenant law and has invited submissions from interested parties on the contents of a draft Landlord and Tenant Law Reform Bill.
An information paper and the text of the draft Bill have been published on the web site of the Department of Justice and Equality (www.justice.ie) and submissions from interested parties will be accepted up to 31 May.
Launching the consultation process, the Minister 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 while attention has, quite understandably, been focussed in recent times on problems associated with ‘upward only’ rent reviews, the entire landlord and tenant code needs to be updated to make it ‘fit for purpose’ in the 21st century".
The Minister added that the proposed legislation would involve the repeal of at least 35 pre-1922 statutes, some dating from the 17th century, and their replacement with a streamlined statutory framework more suited to modern conditions. Ancient ‘eviction’ remedies available to landlords would be abolished and replaced by an updated statutory redress scheme. Clarifying the rights and obligations on all the parties would help to reduce costly disputes and litigation delays.
As regards ‘upward only’ rent reviews, the Minister said that in light of the difficult economic circumstances which continued to prevail, consultations were ongoing with the Attorney General in order that this matter be progressed as expeditiously as possible. The addressing of this issue is being dealt with separately and will not be delayed by the consultative process commenced today.
The draft Landlord and Tenant Law Reform Bill is largely based on reform proposals made by the Law Reform Commission in 2007. It is a logical sequel to, and will complement, provisions in the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 which modernised the law relating to land ownership and conveyancing of land and entered into operation on 1 December 2009.