'We have people crying on the phone': Notices to terminate tenancies on the rise in Cork

Threshold review 800 termination notices in first eight months of 2022
'We have people crying on the phone': Notices to terminate tenancies on the rise in Cork

Landlords are getting a good price for their property and many are choosing to leave the market. 

The number of notices to terminate a tenancy in Cork has almost doubled in the space of a year.

Housing charity Threshold has reviewed 800 notices of termination in Cork in the first eight months of 2022, more than half of which were deemed to be invalid.

In the same period last year, the housing charity received just 467 notices of termination with just over half of those invalid.

Edel Conlon, Threshold’s Southern Regional Manager, said many people who receive such notices are left facing homelessness amid the ongoing housing crisis, lack of rental accommodation, and increased costs of living.

Threshold is engaging with other Cork charities in a bid to take the pressure off families by providing help with food or energy bills.

Ms Conlon highlighted an exodus of private landlords as one of the main reasons behind the increased number of notices to terminate a tenancy.

“Landlords are getting a good price for their property and, facing constant changes in legislation, many are choosing to leave the market,” she said.

“The government needs to find ways to address the tax issue and encourage landlords to stay in the market, while also increasing the supply of private and social housing.” 

Ms Conlon said people calling Threshold for advice after receiving a notice of termination often experience difficulties finding alternative accommodation.

“We have had people crying on the phone to us, saying they can’t source any alternative accommodation.

“It’s really difficult because there is a high possibility that people who have received a valid notice and have also failed to source alternative accommodation will be staring at the prospect of homelessness,” she added.

A spokesperson for the Department of Housing said Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien recently launched Threshold’s second annual ‘Own Your Rights’ campaign, which is funded by the Department of Housing and is designed to raise awareness of how Threshold can provide tenants with immediate assistance.

“The Minister and the Department are fully committed to improving the situation for renters in Ireland and have introduced new measures in this regard including; increasing the Housing Assistance Payment discretion rate to 35% and expanding the couple's rate to single persons,” the spokesperson added.

“This will secure more tenancies and prevent new entries to homelessness.” 

The Department has also recently legislated to increase the Notice to Quit period for tenancies of three years duration or less, giving people more time to source alternative accommodation or seek advice after being asked to leave their accommodation.

“Ultimately increasing the supply of cost rental homes will make a significant difference to the rental system in Ireland,” the Department spokesperson added.

“Cost rental is a brand new form of tenure which has become a reality in the past year.

“Approval has already been given for more than 900 cost rental homes through the Cost Rental Equity Loan Scheme, and we will deliver 18,000 new cost rental homes between now and 2030.

“Government is fully committed to doing as much as we can to help renters, both in immediate measures which can take effect now and more medium-term measures such as increasing the supply of affordable rental properties.”

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