The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD has received Cabinet approval for the priority drafting and publication of a Bill to modify the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to prevent any notices of termination served by landlords from taking effect during the period of level five restrictions.
Minister O’Brien said that the Bill, which would ensure that no evictions could take place, save in exceptional circumstances, needed to be enacted without delay. He called on opposition parties to support its passage through the Oireachtas.
"As a result of the growing public health concerns in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, further legislative measures are now considered necessary to protect tenants in situations where peoples’ movement is severely restricted.
"This new Bill will ensure that in future, where severe restrictions on peoples’ movement are imposed, these protections would automatically kick-in. A ‘grace-period’ will also be built into the Bill whereby a person cannot be evicted in the ten days following the lifting of restrictions.
"The Residential Tenancies and Valuation Act 2020 which came into effect on 1 August already protects tenants experiencing rent arrears due to COVID-19 from eviction and rent increases up to 10 January 2021. The protections under that Act apply nationwide, subject to the tenant making an appropriate declaration.
"However, this new Residential Tenancies Bill is now needed to protect all tenants from eviction while their movement is restricted. These protections will apply any time that severe restrictions are placed on peoples’ movement.
"I hope that all Oireachtas colleagues engage constructively on this Bill."