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Landlords selling up will have to give tenant option to buy as delayed legislation goes to Cabinet

The much-delayed law has been promised since the eviction ban was lifted earlier this year.

LANDLORDS SELLING UP will be obliged to invite their tenants to bid on the property, under legislation going to Cabinet today. 

Such measures were first announced ahead of the lifting of the eviction ban in March, however, the General scheme of the Residential Tenancies (Right to Purchase) Bill, which sets out a new statutory ‘right to purchase’ for tenants, is only going for government approval today.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien had previously promised to push the new tenant right to first refusal through the Dáil before the summer. However, it will be some time before the legislation is enacted. 

The proposed legislation sets out that where a Notice of Termination is served on the basis of the landlord’s intention to sell the rented home, the landlord will be obliged under section 12 of the Residential Tenancies Acts to simultaneously invite their tenant to make a bid to purchase the property within 90 days.

After the 90-day period, the landlord would be further obliged to invite any tenant who made an unsuccessful bid during the initial 90-day period to make a further bid to purchase the property at a price equal to the final sales price that the landlord is willing to agree with a third party on the open market.

The landlord would be obliged to accept such a further matching bid from the tenant, under the new rules.

The tenant in situ scheme – which is aimed at people who are getting the Housing Assistance Payment or who are part of the Rental Accommodation Scheme where the local authority buys the house – has seen around 800 sales completed, with another 1,300 at sale agreed of September.

However, for those privately renting, the initiative has not been available.

As reported by The Journal previously, just two properties have been acquired under the cost rental tenant in situ scheme which is directed towards households who are renting a property and facing eviction, but who are not eligible for social housing supports.

The proposed legislation going to Cabinet today is being seen by government as another measure to bolster housing efforts.

The new legislation, once signed off on by Cabinet, will be published, before going to pre-legislative scrutiny and through the Houses of the Oireachtas. 


Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney will also bring a memo before Cabinet seeking a significant increase on the existing scheme which caps payments to businesses at €20,000.

He hinted that the €5,000 initial payment could be doubled for those impacted by the floods in Midleton.

Coveney said: “What I’m doing now is putting a proposal together, for government, that we would be able to apply the scheme as it is currently to parts of Cork that were flooded, but weren’t devastated by floods.

“And then to have a second scheme, that the Red Cross can apply, when appropriate – particularly in Midleton – with with much higher thresholds, where businesses will get a higher initial payment…”

Coveney added that the new scheme for those in Midleton will be “in and around double in terms of the initial payments”.

New energy upgrade loans

Separately, the Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan will seek Cabinet approval for the introduction of a new low-cost Energy Upgrade Loan Scheme.

The €500 million scheme, which is being underpinned by the European Investment Bank Group, aims to help homeowners to make their houses warmer and cheaper to run.

People will be able to borrow from €5,000 to €75,000 at interest rates that will be significantly lower than those currently available in the market.

The new loan scheme will complement the government grants already available for retrofitting. 

Cabinet ministers will also be asked to sign off on Ireland’s fourth National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP).

The plan supports the delivery of EU and international biodiversity strategies and policies along with relevant national policies and legislation.

The announcement in Budget 2024 of a new Climate and Nature Fund was a significant development relevant to the implementation of the NBAP, along with new legislation to put the NBAP on a statutory footing under the Wildlife Amendment Act 2023. 

In this context, the fourth National Biodiversity Action Plan will be published and launched early in 2024.

Meanwhile, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affair will ask government to agree to the adoption of a new framework for communicating the Global Ireland strategy to international audiences.

It is built around three themes: Community, creativity and transformation.

It will see the development of a digital Ireland House, using the website as a central resource for the Government’s international engagements, with connections to our embassies, consulates, and state agency offices abroad.

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