Evictions can recommence from April 23rd
Lifting of 5km rule allows removal of tenants, but additional protections for those impacted by pandemic will remain
The Residential Tenancies Act 2020 introduced temporary protections for tenants as long as the 5km rule, designed to moderate movement and drive down Covid-19 infections, was in place
Landlords will be able to proceed with eviction proceedings against tenants from April 23rd, 2021, following the lifting of the 5km rule on non-essential travel on April 12th.
The Residential Tenancies Act 2020 introduced temporary protections for tenants as long as this 5km rule, designed to moderate movement and drive down Covid-19 infections, was in place.
These protections meant that while landlords could serve a notice of termination during the emergency period, which ran from December 31st to April 12th, these eviction notices could not in fact take effect until after the emergency period expired.
An exemption applied in some cases where a tenant had failed to comply with their obligations.
With this emergency period now ended, however, the effective ban on most evictions has also finished.
As notice periods were also paused during the emergency period, termination dates will need to be recalculated upon the expiry of an emergency period. These dates also need to factor in an extra 10-day grace period.
This means, for example, that if a tenant had 30 days left on their notice period on December 31st , 2020, they will still have 30 days left on their notice period after April 12th.
According to a spokeswoman from the Residential Tenancies Board, the earliest someone can be made to leave their accommodation is 10 days after the expiry date of an emergency period, which is April 23rd, 2021.
Housing charity Threshold recently said it has more than 1,000 termination cases carried over from 2020.
However, some Covid-19 protections will remain in place for tenants that have been financially impacted by the pandemic.
Tenants, for example, who have received illness benefit as a result of Covid-19, or the Temporary Wage Subsidy or any other social welfare payment paid as a result of loss of earnings due to Covid-19 may be protected by a further 90-day extension.
This means that the earliest date they can be required to leave their accommodation is July 13th, 2021.
Rent increases are also prohibited for relevant tenancies up to and including July 12th, 2021, with no backdating allowed.
However, to meet the criteria for this additional protection tenants should not have rent arrears of more than five months, while giving tenants such allowances should also not cause “cause undue financial hardship” for the landlord.