Eviction ban being considered by government again

Eviction ban being considered by government again

The eviction ban is being reconsidered in the context of increasing Covid-19 case numbers. File Picture: PA

Another moratorium on evictions is being considered by the cabinet.

Cabinet members met on Monday afternoon to discuss moving the country to level four or level five, in which restrictions will tighten for the public across the board in order to stem the rise of Covid-19.

Level five could see the public restricted to within 5km from their homes, similar to the restrictions in March and April, and it is under these circumstances that the eviction ban is being considered.

It is understood that cabinet have discussed the issue in the context of tenants not being able to attend letting agencies or other supports if they are evicted if they are required to stay within 5km or subject to other travel restrictions.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Minister of State Thomas Byrne did not commit to restoring the full eviction ban, instead, saying he "would expect that the restrictions will be brought even tighter and much stronger".

Thomas Byrne did not commit to restoring a full ban on evictions.
Thomas Byrne did not commit to restoring a full ban on evictions.

"We're going to make sure that they don't happen. They shouldn't have happened with a ban there. 

We saw some egregious examples of people have been thrown out in the street completely illegally and there should be legal consequences and for landlords and breach of the law

It's understood over 300 people have been evicted since the pandemic began.

A government spokesperson said: "A moratorium on eviction is being considered in the context of restrictions on people's movement.

"Legislation would be needed — a Bill would have to be brought through the Oireachtas."

Bill to ban evictions

Political pressure on the government to restore the complete ban on evictions has been stepped up by the announcement that RISE TD Paul Murphy is also to introduce a bill to ban evictions. 

The bill restores provisions from the Governments ‘Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020’ introduced in March, which banned all evictions.

The ‘Residential Tenancies (Extension of Eviction Ban) Bill 2020’ would prevent the termination of residential tenancies and rent increases for six months and allow this period to be extended by the government.

 Fr Peter McVerry has backed the bill to ban evictions.
 Fr Peter McVerry has backed the bill to ban evictions.

Fr Peter McVerry, a homeless advocate, has backed the bill.

“During the earlier days of the pandemic, the ban on evictions from the private rented sector led to a very significant reduction in the number of people and families becoming newly homeless," he said.

If we are serious about addressing homelessness, it is vital that this ban be continued 

"While this imposes an inconvenience for a tiny minority of landlords, the failure to do so will lead to many hundreds of people being forced to experience the trauma of homelessness."

The cabinet are also discussing the closure of retail businesses, gyms and entertainment outlets in the increased restrictions, and restoring the pandemic unemployment payment to previous levels.

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