Words: Eva O’Beirne
According to landlords, an eviction ban would be “highly discriminatory”. Right.
Government leaders are expected to decide tonight whether an eviction ban should be introduced. If it is, it would likely be introduced in December and run until the end of March.
However, it is unclear what form this ‘eviction ban’ will take. Previously, the Government introduced an eviction ban during lockdown but it was mainly motivated by travel restrictions.
This previous legislation allowed for the notice period for short-term tenancies to be increased to three months, as well as a rent freeze.
Leo Varadkar said this week that a temporary ban on evictions this winter may lead to a “glut” of homelessness occurring when it ends.
Keep in mind, the amount of people in emergency accomodation in Ireland actually fell during the pandemic with Focus Ireland stating that the total ban on evictions was “clearly a very significant factor, with strong evidence that the banning of ‘eviction-to-sell’ being the biggest factor”.
A large concern for the Government is preventing landlords from having their property rights infringed on – truly the most oppressed group in society.
As a result of this concern, tax measures to support landlords are being considered.
It will be interesting to see what form the ‘eviction ban’ will take as almost 80 TDs and Senators are landlords or landowners with some politicians holding substantial property portfolios, the latest register of members’ interests shows.
48 TDs own rental properties or land while 29 Senators also have property and land interests.
Previously this summer, several TDs were caught with having unregistered or undeclared rental properties.
The national housing charity Threshold reported recently that the termination of tenancies is the biggest issue facing renters at present while the latest Locked Out report from the Simon Communities shows there are now effectively no properties for people to rent on the housing assistance payment (HAP).
Research from Simon Communities Ireland also shows that as many as one in four people know someone who has experienced hidden homelessness in the past 12 months or has experienced it themselves.
New figures from the Department of Housing show that in the last week of August, 10,805 people were using emergency accommodation, surpassing the previous record of 10,568 people in July.
Focus Ireland has claimed that the official figures do not reflect the reality of homelessness in Ireland, suggesting that the number could be as high as 14,000.
It is clear the Government want to reduce the number of homeless people in Ireland – but can they abandon their property interests to help the best interests of the people?
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