Republic of Ireland Law
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my question is my parents own a house together neither live in it. my mother lives with me due to age and illness my dad lives with my sister same reason. the house sat empty for a little while until a guy came and asked if he could rent it at a reduced cost and make updates to the property as it was very outdated and run down. he has lived there for 5 years now but only paid rent for 2 years as it stands he now owes my parents €27k. there was a lease in place for 5 years with an option to renew if my parents both agreed upon it but with the arrears and just the guys general demeanor they've chosen not to. my eldest brother and I who act as proxys for our parents went down 4 days ago to issue an arrears notice and if it wasn't paid in 28days he would be issued a termination. he insists that the lease they entered into is not legal and refuses to leave. the lease was downloaded from the rtb website so my parents assumed it was all above board. treshhold the homeless advice centre told him its not legal. does this mean he is technically squatting in their property and what would be a legal way to remove him?
1. Irrespective of the issue of whether the lease is legally correct or not, this tenant is currently squatting in the house and you will need to take ejectment proceedings to evict him from the property. However, be aware that you cannot get an ejectment until after the 13 January 2022, as this is the date upon which the restrictions imposed by Covid expire. So, in the meantime, you should give the tenant notice as a prelude to evicting him. I would also advise you to see a solicitor to issue the ejectment proceedings, given the large amount of arrears and the fact that the tenants appears to be about to put up a fight. Take the leasehold agreement to the solicitor and have the solicitor look at it. My guess is that there is a variation between the lease agreement and the actual operation of the lease, whereby your agreed to a reduced rent for updates to the property is the issue which the tenant will seek to rely upon. However, just be aware that this is not a good ground to prevent ejectment proceedings succeeding court, so long as you serve the necessary Termination notices under the lease. The fact you got the lease on the RTB website means it is a good lease and you will be able to serve a Termination notice under the lease, based on the large amount of arrears which is outstanding.
2. So, you should essentially put the matter in the hands of a solicitor with experience in Landlord & Tenant law. Get the solicitor to serve the necessary Termination notices and if the tenant doesn't then leave, then issue the ejectment proceedings against him. As part of the proceedings, you should seek payment of the arrears which have accumulated as they are quite substantial and would easily offset the legal costs of the solicitor.
3. If you require clarification or if you wish to share additional information, I will be happy to assist further in the resolution of your question.