The number of termination notices issued by landlords to tenants, as notified to the Residential Tenancies Board, rose by 58 per cent in the first six months of 2022 compared to the previous six months.
There were 2,913 termination notices served so far in 2022 compared to 1,845 in the last six months of 2021.
Some 55 per cent of those were for the purposes of sale of the property.
Sinn Féin spokesman on housing Eoin Ó Broin has called on the Fianna Fáil Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to convene an “urgent meeting” on the rental crisis following a rise in the number of landlords choosing to leave the rental market.
A ban on evictions during lockdown periods of the Covid-19 pandemic last year lowered the number of termination notices. However, the eviction moratorium was lifted in April 2021 and numbers have been rising significantly since then.
The number of notices of termination in the first quarter of 2021 was 352, but in the second this increased to 841.
The figures were released to Mr Ó Broin by the Residential Tenancies Board. Mr Ó Broin said the figures were “very alarming and require urgent action. The number of notices to quit has soared in recent months, which will see a dramatic escalation in evictions in the near future. The Minister for Housing needs to convene an urgent meeting to address this clear crisis in the rental sector.”
The meeting should include the Residential Tenancies Board, tenants and landlords’ representative organisations, and the Opposition housing spokespeople, he said.
“We urgently need a crisis intervention plan to slow down the disorderly exit of private landlords exiting the rental market.”
The private rental sector is facing “an onslaught of evictions”, said John McCafferty, chief executive of the housing charity Threshold.
The figures released by the Residential Tenancies Board reflected “the ongoing trend observed by Threshold” after the charity assisted 2,821 renters who had received a notice to quit from their landlord in the first six months of 2022.
“Behind the statistics are individuals and families entering homelessness and losing their homes. It is imperative that the Government moves quickly to formulate a specific, targeted strategy for evictions to help keep people in their homes and ensures some level of security around this,” said Mr McCafferty.
Landlords leaving the private rental market was “contributing to the absence of options for those wanting to leave homelessness and driving too many others into homelessness”, said Wayne Stanley, head of policy and communications at the Simon Communities of Ireland.
“The homeless crisis in Ireland will only deepen if we don’t see further actions taken to make affordable homes available ... With enough ambition this can secure the homes that can see homelessness start to fall again,” he said.
The Government has extended rent pressure zones until the end of 2024 and has prohibited any rent increase in a rent pressure zone from exceeding general inflation or 2 per cent, whichever is lower.
“It is also important to note that the service of a Notice of Termination does not always translate into an eviction and may be intended as a further warning to the tenant to comply with their obligations on foot of a warning notice seeking payment of rent arrears,” he said.
According to the Residential Tenancies Board, landlords intending to sell the property were by far the biggest reason for notices served, followed by plans for the landlord or their family members to move into the property.
“Ultimately, the most effective way to assist renters in the medium to long term is to increase supply and accelerate delivery of housing for the private and social rental sectors,” said the department’s spokesman, adding that the Government’s €4 billion a year Housing for All plan aimed to do so.