Rents could be deferred by tenants in financial stress, landlords say

Group representing institutional owners proposes measures to support tenants during coronavirus crisis

‘IIP landlords are encouraging tenants who are significantly impacted as a result of this crisis situation to make contact with them as soon as possible.’ Photograph: iStock

‘IIP landlords are encouraging tenants who are significantly impacted as a result of this crisis situation to make contact with them as soon as possible.’ Photograph: iStock

 

Tenants experiencing financial stress resulting from coronavirus may have their rents deferred and will not be served notice to leave, at least during the acute phase of the crisis, a lobby group for the sector said.

Irish Institutional Property, which represents landlords such as the State’s largest, Ires Reit, proposed several measures to support residential tenants. The landlords group, which also includes the likes of Kennedy Wilson and Hines, said they would develop protocols to support tenants experiencing short-term financial stress.

“These will include deferrals of rent payments, payment plans, etc.”

Other measures the landlords will implement include a suspension of any pending rent increases during the “acute phase” of the crisis in addition to the suspension of notices to leave for those tenants.

Measures

“IIP landlords are encouraging tenants who are significantly impacted as a result of this crisis situation to make contact with them as soon as possible,” the group said.

In addition to those emergency measures it announced on Thursday, its members will “continue to ensure provision of ongoing essential maintenance services to their residential tenants”.

Pat Farrell, the organisation’s chief executive, said: “We are very much aware that some tenants will experience financial difficulties and we want to reassure them that our members stand ready to offer practical support to impacted residential tenants during this difficult time.”

The temporary measures unveiled by the landlords are “intended to support the Government’s efforts”, the group said.

The Government approved a series of emergency measures on Thursday evening to protect tenants impacted by the virus, also known as Covid-19. A moratorium on evictions and rent increases will be introduced for the duration of the emergency. The notice period for tenancies of less than six months will also be increased from 28 to 90 days. 

Legislation will be published next week by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to give effect to the changes.