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Calls for reintroduction of moratorium on evictions

A homeless charity said it will prevent a spike in the number of people losing their homes.

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General view of a set of keys hanging from a door (Joe Giddens/PA)

General view of a set of keys hanging from a door (Joe Giddens/PA)

General view of a set of keys hanging from a door (Joe Giddens/PA)

There have been calls for a moratorium on evictions and rent reviews to be reintroduced in line with the reintroduction of Covid-19 restrictions.

Homeless charity Focus Ireland said it will prevent a spike in the number of people losing their homes and needing emergency accommodation.

The charity has also warned about the occurrence of “chaotic evictions” at a time of such widespread anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is currently a ban on evicting tenants who cannot pay their rent because of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as a ban on rent increases.

Focus Ireland chief executive Pat Dennigan said the risk of Covid-19 spreading in congregate settings will rise if more people need emergency accommodation.

“The legislation which significantly reduced the protection for tenants was passed by the Dail in July when all the evidence suggested that the risk of Covid-19 was under control,” Mr Dennigan said.

“The situation today is entirely different and the Government are taking significant steps back in a number of areas.

“We accept that (Housing) Minister (Darragh) O’Brien introduced legislation which he believed was the best that could be done in July, but he now needs to revisit that decision and reintroduce protection for families where landlords want to sell up or undertake major renovations.

“While the legislative protections for those who have experienced a financial loss due to Covid-19 from eviction and rent reviews on the grounds of rent arrears are welcome and will protect that category of tenant from homelessness until January 2021, our research clearly shows the majority of notices of termination are due to landlords wishing to sell their property.”

Mr Dennigan said there is currently no legislative measure to prevent an eviction taking place on this ground, including for a person who is unemployed due to Covid-19 and in rent arrears.

PA