Speaking in relation to the publication of the Residential Tenancies and Valuation Bill 2020, which will be rushed through the Dáil this week, Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson, Cian O’Callaghan TD, said:

“This bill unfortunately will do little to help renters who are at risk of eviction and homelessness. Most renters are evicted on grounds that the landlord wants to sell the property or that the landlord wishes to have a family member move in. While these grounds are often used legitimately, it is widely accepted that they are also used as a bogus excuse for issuing notices to quit.

“Some frontline workers who have kept essential services running, as well as vulnerable tenants with complex needs and who are at risk of homelessness, will be among those receiving eviction notices. People in receipt of Covid-19 payments, and who can pay their rent, will be subject to eviction notices. Only those on Covid-19 related payments who can declare an inability to pay rent will receive protection.

“If the Government are serious about reducing the numbers of evictions into homelessness, then a straightforward tightening up of the grounds for eviction – recognising that there should not be multiple ways to evict people from their homes – would be a much better approach.

“Very solid progress has been made in recent months in reducing the number of homeless people living in emergency accommodation, partially because less people were getting evicted from the private rented sector. This progress should be built on by providing long-term reforms which would enhance security of tenure for tenants.”

July 27, 2020

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