Housing charity warns of an 'onslaught of evictions' in Cork as 600 renters get notices of termination

Amid concerns about the increase in NoTs across the country, there have been calls in Cork for urgent action.
Housing charity warns of an 'onslaught of evictions' in Cork as 600 renters get notices of termination

National housing charity Threshold has assisted 1,500 new clients in the Cork area in the first six months of the year, of whom almost 600 were renters who had received a notice of termination (NoT) from their landlord.

National housing charity Threshold has assisted 1,500 new clients in the Cork area in the first six months of the year, of whom almost 600 were renters who had received a notice of termination (NoT) from their landlord.

Amid concerns about the increase in NoTs across the country, there have been calls in Cork for urgent action.

“All options much be on the table for consideration, including a temporary ban on evictions, an accelerated tenant-in-situ purchase scheme by local authorities, an acceleration of social housing delivery, and tax reform in the private rental sector,” said Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Thomas Gould.

Threshold chief executive John Mark McCafferty warned that the private rented sector is facing “an onslaught of evictions”.

In data given to The Echo, Threshold said 597 renters in Cork contacted it after having been issued with an NoT in the first half of the year. Of these, 271 were found to be valid while 326 were invalid. 

Threshold said 294 notices were issued to tenants in Cork City and 303 to tenants in the wider county.

The data from the charity comes as figures released by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson, TD Eoin Ó Broin, show an increase nationally in the number of NoTs issued to tenants.

The RTB received 1,781 NoTs in the second quarter of 2022. This is an increase from 841 in the same period in 2021. 

A valid NoT is required in order to end a tenancy. Since July 6, 2022, landlords who issue a NoT to a tenant must also send a copy of the notice to the RTB at the same time.

Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins
Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Mr Gould described the latest figures as “very alarming”, and called for action.

“The Minister for Housing needs to convene an urgent meeting to address this clear crisis in the rental sector,” he said.

“This meeting must happen immediately and include the Residential Tenancies Board, tenants and landlords representative organisations, and opposition housing spokespersons.

“We urgently need a crisis intervention plan to slow down the disorderly exit of private landlords exiting the rental market.”

His party colleague, Cork South Central TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire echoed these sentiments, and said the party would be writing to the Minister for Housing “urging him to act and to act now”.

Meanwhile, Threshold said the figures released by the RTB “reflect the ongoing trend observed by Threshold, and which it has been raising concerns about since early this year”.

Nationally, the charity said it assisted 2,821 renters who received a NoT from their landlord in the first six months of this year.

“Behind the statistics are individuals and families entering homelessness and losing their homes,” Mr McCaffery said.

“It is imperative that the Government moves quickly to formulate a specific, targeted strategy for evictions, to help keep people in their homes and ensure some level of security around this.

“This strategy must focus on how small landlords can be incentivised to remain in the sector,” he continued.

Mr McCafferty noted that there have been “widespread calls for reform of the taxation of rental income”.

“If this is what is needed to keep them active in the sector, then the Government must introduce and expedite these changes.

“However, it is imperative that any reform of the tax burden on landlords is strictly linked to increased security of tenure for private renters, including ten-year lease agreements,” he added.

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