‘Extending the eviction ban is a doomsday scenario for me’: Renters and landlords on the ban

Tenants fear homelessness if ban ends on March 31st. Landlords say unfair demands are being made of them

Renters have cited fears of homelessness in calling on the Government to extend the ban on evictions in advance of its expiration at the end of this month.

In response to an Irish Times reader call-out on experiences of the winter stay on evictions, several Dublin tenants spoke of there being “nowhere to go” if they lose their current accommodation.

Landlords meanwhile feel they are being made to pay for the State’s dysfunctional housing market, with one owner expressing the view that “extending the ban is a doomsday scenario”.

Introduced in October, the six-month ban is the subject of significant political debate as the deadline to decide on whether to extend or lift it draws near. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said last month the ban on evictions “didn’t work” after the number of homeless in the State rose to a new record high of 11,754. Opposition parties have called for it be extended, however, saying it is necessary to avoid a further spike in homelessness.


This is what Irish Times readers have had to say:

‘The eviction ban saved me and my three young sons from being homeless for Christmas 2022′

“[The] eviction ban needs to be extended. I was due out of the apartment I have rented [for] over nine years in December after being given my notice of termination by my landlord in April 2022. The eviction ban saved me and my three young sons from being homeless for Christmas 2022. It was a huge relief to me. I’m praying the ban is extended as I have nowhere to go come April 1st when the ban is over. I am being told there is no emergency accommodation. I am looking for a new home constantly with no success.

“The prices for renting are crazy. I have always paid my rent on time, I’ve been an excellent tenant, it’s horrible to now be in the situation I’m in through no fault of my own. [I] wouldn’t wish this stress on anyone, I can barely eat or sleep from the worry. [The] Government needs to extend this ban as there is nowhere for us to go come April 1st.” – Lisa Brady, Dublin

‘My salary just matches my rent’

“I’ve been renting privately for over seven years. Single dad, with kids staying 50 per cent of time. No position to buy at the moment. Landlord decides to sell as ‘too much legislation’. Renting in a rent pressure zone [RPZ], yet the landlord keeps increasing rent above the RPZ amount – no option but to agree with increases as otherwise landlord ‘will sell’...

“Have now been given notice that the house is going for sale. [I] cannot get anywhere under €2,300 a month rent and there is zero availability even if I could afford that. So now my salary just matches my rent. [I] have zero options. No support. [I] cannot get a mortgage anywhere near purchase amount, yet I pay rent that would cover a mortgage. I’m happy paying a little more in rent because there are no other options.” – Jack*, Cork

‘We feel ashamed if our children grow up homeless’

“I am living in Ireland for the last 22 years. I am an Irish citizen and I am married... I am employed since we arrived in Ireland. We have been on the RAS [Rental Accommodation Scheme] for the last 17 years in Athlone. Our landlord gave us a letter of termination in June 2022 and we don’t know what to do. There are no houses to rent in Athlone and when we tried to contact the county council we get always the same answer – ‘we have no houses for you’ – or they don’t answer at all.

“We applied for a home authority loan and explained how we are facing homelessness in April but we are waiting for a decision from the county council and there is no news after 16 weeks... We should get a decision from 6-8 weeks as is stated... We don’t sleep because of stress, we never missed one payment of rent in 17 years or never [have] been involved in antisocial behaviour. We raise our children to be a good people but this crisis is changing our life and we feel very ashamed if our children end up homeless.” – Dirk*, Westmeath

‘Nowhere to go’

“I have already been issued an eviction notice which takes effect in late March. Myself and my son have nowhere to go, so an extension would really save us from being homeless.” – Anne*, Co Offaly

‘Worried sick’

“Just found out myself, my father (70s) and my mother are facing eviction due to our landlord selling. I’m worried sick at the thoughts of not being able to afford rent in this current climate, with the average rent for a 2 bed house coming in at €2,500 each month. I’m the only one working at home, my Dad’s pension pays our current rent and I pay the rest. Of course this eviction ban should be extended, it’s the least our excuse of a Government can do after they have always prioritised the landlord over the tenant.” – Brid*, Co Dublin

‘We can’t find anywhere’

“I am a 65-year-old unemployed woman with stage 4 cancer. My husband works in a seasonal job. We are due to be evicted from our home on April 1st, where we have been good tenants for almost 10 years. We have modest savings – too little to buy a place but puts us beyond any social supports. We can’t find anywhere to rent or buy and have nowhere to go. Every day while they dither about the eviction ban is a living hell.” – Marian*

‘Our landlord is selling’

“Our… building was issued notice right before the latest ban was put in place as our landlord is selling. We make too much for social housing, too little for a mortgage, can’t live out of commuting distance from South Dublin but can’t find another place on the open market. Every apartment complex built in north Wicklow over the last three years has either sold to investment firms or been rented by the council. Our family of three, with a one-year-old child, will be homeless June 5th if nothing changes through no fault of our own.” – Niamh*, Wicklow

‘Eviction ban creates homelessness’

“My family lost a mortgage after seven months of waiting. The seller was unable to vacate the property since the tenants don’t want to move out. Tenants had 200+ days notice and complete winter eviction ban term to move on. Now since property prices went up significantly and we have a failed mortgage on the record, I’m afraid we just can’t afford to buy family home. Bloody eviction ban creates homelessness.” – Joe*, Co Dublin

‘My vulture fund will repossess the property’

I have been a landlord for 30 years and have always tried to take HAP [Housing Assistance Payment] tenancies... A HAP tenant is vetted and approved by the HAP agency, and agrees terms about paying a contribution to that HAP tenancy payment. Yet if the tenant stops paying their weekly contribution to HAP, the landlord’s HAP payment is suspended. When the landlord contacts HAP for an explanation he is told that, under the Data Protection Act, the matter cannot be discussed with him. I have at times wanted to pay the arrears for the tenant so that my HAP payment is resumed, yet cannot. I then have to deal with the tenant who was selected by HAP as a suitable candidate for HAP payments...

“If the Government extends the eviction ban further (normal evictions never take less than six/eight months, at no rental income by the way), my vulture fund will repossess the property through my inability to pay the mortgage, because my HAP tenants have broken their agreement with HAP. Yes, I want to sell up, if possible, and discontinue being a landlord.” – Francis, Dublin

‘I can’t wait to sell up’

“I’m a private landlord and I’ve done this in lieu of a pension. I look after my tenant well. The rent sounds good – €2,400 per month. However, my mortgage is now €1,400, on top of that is property tax, apartment service charges, wear and tear, agent fees... leaving me with around €300 per month. I’m terrified that my tenant could stop paying rent and I’m left hanging – can you imagine what my mortgage company would say if I simply stopped paying them? I can’t wait to sell up. It’s simply not worth the risk any more.” – David*, Dublin

‘We don’t have an eviction ban if we don’t pay our mortgage on our own house’

“We bought our house investment at the height of the boom around 2005 and it fell into negative equity with the crash and is still not back at the price we bought it for. We hope at least... to get the life savings back by selling it now and have given notice. We have the rent way below market rates, ie around €880, which is very low so no one will want to buy it with sitting tenants. We have two kids going to college living away from home in Dublin and need the money to pay for college.

“We both as a couple work in tech and our company has announced job cuts recently so we are worried while waiting to hear more details. We just want access to sell our house to a needful family but with sitting tenants we fear we won’t be able to sell. If we do it will be a loss with such low-rent tenants. We feel that is unfairly penalising us as a hard-working couple all our lives.

“Also, as it is we have to pay so much in tax and maintenance works... for the house. We just want the eviction ban to go, it’s not fair on us. We don’t have an eviction ban if we didn’t pay our mortgage on our own house. I hope sense will prevail and solutions to the housing issue will not be punishing us.” – Aisling*, Westmeath

‘He hasn’t paid a cent back’

“Sick and tired of bad tenants treating my property badly. Every single time. Soul-destroying to see the state that tenants leave a property. Last tenant abandoned property owing €13,000 rent. We won our case against him in RTB [Residential Tenancies Board], he hasn’t paid a cent back.” – Lucy*, Meath

‘Extending the ban is a doomsday scenario for me’

I rented out my parents’ home and the present tenants have wrecked it so I decided last August to issue a termination notice to sell last year to stop further damage… The tenants have now decided to stop paying rent… I have now problems with my bank with the mortgage and it could take months via the RTB to resolve it. Extending the ban is a doomsday scenario for me.” – James*, Co Dublin

‘Waiting to regain access to my only home’

“I am waiting for the end of the ban to allow me to regain access to my only home. I am homeless while I wait for this to happen.” – Jennifer*

‘We bought house and have no rights to live there’

We bought a house last July. And we can’t move in… because the tenants refuse to move due to the eviction ban. We bought the house and we have no rights to live in there. It’s really disappointing. – Pat* Dublin

‘I should not be forced to be homeless to give a tenant more rights’

“I moved overseas a few years ago and my hope is to return to Ireland in 5-10 years. However, plans and circumstances can change for unforeseen reasons and I would have nowhere else to live in Ireland if I was unable to return to my own home. I would never dream of giving short notice, only what is required as per the lease signed with the tenant. If it is my only property I should not be forced to be homeless to give a tenant more rights than the lease they agreed to.” – Joan*, Luxembourg

* Names have been changed to protect identity

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist