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Landlords urged not to evict rent-a-room tenants during Covid-19 emergency

The Government called on landlords to ‘show allegiance and support’ for tenants in informal accommodation arrangements.

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Elizabeth Canavan briefed the media on the latest measures in response to Covid-19 (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA)

Elizabeth Canavan briefed the media on the latest measures in response to Covid-19 (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA)

Elizabeth Canavan briefed the media on the latest measures in response to Covid-19 (Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA)

The Government has asked landlords of tenants living in informal accommodation to show “allegiance” and not evict them.

Last month, the Government announced a temporary ban on evictions and a pause on rent increases for an initial period of three months while the Covid-19 crisis is ongoing.

However, more informal arrangements, where tenants rent a room in a landlord’s home, or student digs, are exempt from the ban.

At a Government press briefing on Covid-19 in Dublin on Wednesday, Government official Liz Canavan said a number of people had raised concern in relation to such tenancies being exempt from measures prohibiting evictions for the duration of the pandemic.

She said: “We’re looking into this further and I will update you when I have more information on that. However, in the meantime government would ask landlords and tenants in more informal accommodation arrangements, such as these, to show allegiance and support for each other during this critical emergency period.

“And, where possible with regards to precautions necessary to tackle Covid-19, to avoid ending their current accommodation arrangements.”

Ms Canavan also said procurement issues are a global problem and there are challenges in securing materials needed for testing for the virus.

“This week the HSE public analysis laboratory at Cherry Orchard and the Department of Agriculture have also come online, bringing additional capacity into the laboratory space.

“The HSE has asked us to apologise to all those waiting for test results to assure the public, they’re making every endeavour to improve turnaround times with the current international constraints.

“Testing is being performed for public health as opposed to clinical reasons and patients waiting for results should continue to self-isolate for 14 days.”

Ms Canavan urged over-70s to cocoon, even if they are “fit and healthy”.

“We know many people over 70 are fit, well and active. Nevertheless the chief medical officer’s advice is that you should stay at home. We appreciate how frustrating this is but the reason the CMO has made that recommendation is based on what we know about the impact of the disease.”

Ms Canavan also warned the public to be aware of fraudsters as there has been an increase in Covid-19 related frauds and scams.

“We’re anticipating that fraudsters may attempt to pose as Government, banks or other organisations to ask for financial details to process payments.

“Don’t be rushed, take your time to do relevant checks and always report immediate suspicious activity to banks or gardai.”

She said that as today is April Fools’ Day people should only heed messages and advice from official sources.

“Remember, if it is true, you’ll hear it here,” she said.

PA