Renters financially impacted by Covid-19 can apply for eviction exemption

The scheme replaces the blanket ban on evictions which is in place until August 1.
Renters financially impacted by Covid-19 can apply for eviction exemption
Darragh O'Brien at Leinster House last week. Picture: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Renters financially impacted by Covid-19 can apply for eviction exemption.

The scheme replaces the blanket ban on evictions which is in place until August 1.

It will be available until January next year.

Tenants must apply through the Residential Tenancies Board, while those who falsely declare could face criminal prosecution.

Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien claims it strikes a balance between renters rights and landlords.

He said: “I need to make sure that the most vulnerable people during this pandemic are actually protected, balancing that with the rights of property owners too.

“And I’m pretty happy that this Bill will achieve that.” 

However, Social Democrat TD Cian O'Callaghan says most tenants will be affected by the change.

He is calling on the Housing Minister to change the Bill.

Mr O'Callaghan says a two-tier system is the wrong approach.

“If a tenant is able to make a declaration that they’ve been in receipt of a Covid-19 payment from the state, then they’ll have some form of additional protection,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

“But it’s quite a complex system. I don’t think it’s really workable.

“I think introducing this kind of two-tier treatment is going to be confusing for tenants and for landlords.

“Really we’re saying the Minister needs to look at this again.”  

Mr O’Callaghan said he will be tabling amendments to the Bill “to put in place long-term measures to improve security of tenure for tenants in the private rented sector”.

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