As of midnight on October 21st of this year a temporary, though general, ban on evictions was put in place for the 6 week period of the level five restrictions and for any other period when a 5 kilometre restriction on movement is in place.
Since March 2020, there have been a number of different protections put in place to support tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When announcing this the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy also said that the notice period for rental tenancies of less than six months will be increased from 28 to 90 days. The Government published legislation to amend the Residential Tenancies Act to give effect to these changes.
“A moratorium on notices to leave rental accommodation is being introduced as is a moratorium on rent increases so that people will be safe in their homes during this period,” Mr Murphy confirmed.
The temporary ban follows the announcement that landlords and other homeowners will be given a three-month break on their mortgage repayments if their income has been hit by the restrictions in place as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The temporary nature of the measures is being seen as a way of getting around concerns that an outright ban on evictions would be unconstitutional as it infringes on a person’s private property rights.
Evictions can however take place in limited circumstances. If a landlord has given a valid notice to quit (also called an eviction notice), the notice is paused while Level 5 restrictions are in place, and also for a further 10 days after the restrictions are lifted, unless the notice to quit is for the following reasons:
- Anti-social behaviour
- Acting in a way that would invalidate a house insurance policy
- Acting in a way that would cause substantial damage to the accommodation
- Using the accommodation for commercial or other non-residential purposes
This means that the time one has left before they are due to be evicted is extended by 10 days plus the amount of time Ireland is at Level 5. If the notice of termination is for one of the four reasons above, the eviction can proceed once the appropriate notice period expires.
NB – This is a guide for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have an issue requiring legal advice, please contact any of the team at Nolan Farrell & Goff, whose numbers can be found on our website, www.nfg.ie