SOLIDARITY TD Mick Barry has called for clarity on the eviction ban following the government’s decision to lift the 5km travel limit.
Cork North-Central TD Mick Barry stated that the blanket ban on evictions and rent increases was linked to the imposition of the 5km travel limit which he said would seem to imply that they would be lifted 10 days after the 5km travel limit eases.
He described Tuesday’s announcement as “silent on the issue of lifting the blanket ban on evictions and rent increases”.
“The ban on evictions has been the most successful Government policy in many years at combatting the rise in the level of homelessness. It should be kept in place.
“Meanwhile, if landlords were able to hike rents by four or five percent in cities like Cork last year, when a ban on rent increases was meant to be in place, you would have to shudder at what Ireland’s greedy landlords might do if the Government remove the ban.
“Not only should the eviction ban remain, but the ban on rent increases should be kept as well.”
Speaking in the Dáil Mr Barry asked the Taoiseach if he was “concerned that lifting the ban on rent increases will result in very sharp rent hikes across the country in the second half of this year”.
Threshold expressed disappointment at some elements of the Residential Tenancies Bill 2021, which was passed by the Oireachtas on Monday.
The Bill extends protections until mid-July for renters who have lost income on foot of Covid-19 restrictions and who have declared this to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), but removes protections for all other renters with rent arrears.
The national housing charity said that the Bill puts two cohorts at risk of eviction, including tenants with arrears who have not lost income as a direct result of Covid-19 restrictions and those who do not register with the RTB.
Threshold has over 1,000 termination cases carried over from 2020 with 246 of the cases relating to tenants in Cork.
John-Mark McCafferty, CEO of Threshold said that now is not the time to restrict supports for renters.
“Instead of diluting the moratorium on evictions, Threshold recommends it be extended for a minimum of six months, without being dependant on the 5km travel restriction, and that it be kept under review until we are living post-Covid-19,” he said.