Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan T.D., responding to the publication of a Tenancies bill by Government stated:

“The proposals by the Government to end the ban on evictions and rent increases for most tenants – while retaining some protections until January 2021 for those tenants who have been in receipt of a Covid 19 payment or laid off due to Covid 19 and who make a self-declaration – will create confusion and conflict for tenants and landlords.”

“These proposals place a cumbersome process on tenants who believe they are entitled to protection to make a self-declaration to the Residential Tenancies Board. It seems that this declaration must be made by a tenant in advance of any notice to quit or rent increase being served by a landlord. It is not clear what will happen if the landlord serves a notice to quit at the start of August before a tenant has had a chance to make a self-declaration.”

“Furthermore, a tenant who makes a self-declaration, while they cannot be evicted for rent arrears can be evicted for a whole range of other grounds. This calls into question the value of this rather complex set of arrangements.”

“The creation of a two-tier set of rules, one set for tenants who make self-declarations and who are in receipt of a Covid 19 payment, and another set of rules for everyone else will create confusion and conflict for both landlords and tenants. Many vulnerable tenants who are at risk of eviction into homelessness and tenants who work in frontline essential services will not receive any protection. This is divisive, unfair and exclusionary and it is not clear what would be the legal justification for creating two different sets of tenancy rules based on whether or not a tenant is in receipt of state Covid 19 payments.”

“I will be tabling a number of amendments to this bill to make the protections for renters streamlined, inclusive and fair. I will also bring forward amendments to ensure long term reforms of the private rented sector that will enhance security of tenure for tenants and certainty for landlords.”


26th July 2020

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