Government will look at extending ban on rent increases and evictions

Measures were due to end on July 20th but Dáil told extension will be sought if justified on public health grounds

The measures were introduced three months ago to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

The measures were introduced three months ago to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has confirmed that the Government is examining whether to extend the moratorium on rent increases and the ban on evictions which are due to end on July 20th.

He said he would seek an extension if it is justified based on public health considerations and will discuss the issue with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.

Mr O’Brien pointed out that the programme for government contains a commitment to assist all households to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This includes extending the moratorium on evictions in line with public health advice if specific requirements are met, based on the emergency legislation passed to deal with the crisis.

The Minister was speaking in the Dáil during a Labour party private member’s motion seeking more supports for tenants and a continuation of the rent freeze and ban on evictions.

The measures were introduced three months ago to cope with the coronavirus pandemic when the lock-down started.

The Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act provides that renters can only be forced to leave their accommodation in exceptional circumstances and rent increases are banned during the emergency period.

It was originally scheduled to end after three months but then minister for housing Eoghan Murphy extended it until July 20th.

Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said more than a third of those working in the hospitality sector live in rental accommodation and this sector had suffered huge job losses.

He said renters were disproportionately affected by the pandemic and appealed to the Minister to provide supports to assist tenants and homeowners.

The criteria for an extension include the threat to public health, the contagious nature of coronavirus and the restriction on people’s movement to prevent the disease spreading.

Mr O’Brien said he would write to Mr Donnelly to ask if public health circumstances “merit a further extension of this moratorium”.

“If it is justified, I will bring a proposal to Government accordingly,” he said.

“I will consider the economic situation as well to renters and possible further measures that may be put in place should they be needed.”