Nearly half of the eviction notices served in Galway in the last quarter of 2022 were invalid, says tenants advocacy group Threshold.
41 per cent of eviction notices served to tenants were invalid. This is a “substantial minority”, said Karina Timothy, Threshold’s Western Regional Services Manager.
The most commonly cited reason was a failure by landlords to abide by the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004. The Act is prescriptive, and a common failure was a lack of a statutory declaration.
If a landlord intends to put their property up for sale, they must acquire a witnessed statutory declaration from a solicitor. They must declare that they intend to begin the process of selling the property.
They must also obtain a declaration if they intend to evict so that a family member can live in the property. This must include the individuals name and expected length of stay.
If they do not do what they declared they would – if a sale falls through for example – then the tenant must be notified and given rights of first refusal to resume their tenancy.
Nationally, Threshold advised over 17,000 individuals who were experiencing tenancy issues, including the threat of eviction. This is despite a winter eviction freeze that will last until April of this year.
While the freeze has given some comfort to those who were facing eviction, it is not a solution says Timothy.
“It got some tenants through the Christmas,” she said. However, the freeze mainly applies to those who have already been served with an eviction notice. It does not prevent the serving of fresh notices for issues such as rent arrears.