Minister Flanagan commences the Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents) (Amendment) Act 2019 

17 January, 2020

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, yesterday (16th January 2020) signed the commencement order to bring the Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents) (Amendment) Act 2019 into operation.

The principal purpose of this Act is to clarify the rights of certain ground rent tenants to acquire the freehold title of their properties. Some uncertainty as to the scope of such rights had arisen from a Supreme Court ruling in 2012 in a case involving ground rent tenants in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan.

The Act will commence from today, Friday, 17th January.

The Minister said,

“I am pleased to bring this updating of ground rents legislation into force; this is a complex but important area of landlord and tenant law. The Government is committed to upholding the right of ground rent tenants to acquire the freehold title of their properties and the enactment of this legislation will clarify the scope of this right and remove uncertainties and confusion that have arisen as a result of certain court rulings.”

The Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents)(Amendment) Act 2019 originated as a Seanad Private Members Bill but was adopted by the Government as part of its legislative programme. In order to reduce the risk of future legal challenges to its proposals, Minister Flanagan established an expert group with its membership drawn from the Attorney General’s Office, his Department and external experts, including land-law expert Professor John Wylie, to examine the Bill’s proposals and recommend any necessary changes.

The Government’s amendments to the Bill, based on the expert group’s recommendations, were subsequently accepted by both Dáil and Seanad.