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The practice, known as 'over-holding', occurs when a tenant remains in a property after a valid notice of termination has expired. Shutterstock

Opposition TDs believe 'increasing' number of tenants will resist eviction over coming weeks

They believe the practice is acceptable where tenants “have nowhere to go” and face being out on the streets otherwise.

LAST UPDATE | 15 Mar 2023

OPPOSITION TDS BELIEVE the lifting of the eviction ban will see a greater number of tenants resisting attempts by their landlord to remove them from the property.  

A number believe the practice is acceptable where tenants “have nowhere to go” and face being out on the streets otherwise. 

The practice, known as ‘over-holding’, occurs when a tenant remains in a property after a valid notice of termination has expired.

Dublin TD Joan Collins told The Journal that her office “has always advised people to over-hold if they have nowhere to go” out of “basic human necessity”, adding that Ireland is now at a “new phase of the housing crisis”.

“We’ve had nearly a family a day come into the office with a notice to quit. We’re also getting a lot of single men in that have nowhere to go. And so we have always advised people to over-hold if they have nowhere to go,” Collins said.

According to the Residential Tenancies Board, 4,741 eviction notices were served on tenants from July to September 2022 – these are set to expire over the coming weeks. 

The decision to end the ban from next month was taken by Cabinet last week, with Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien defending the decision saying that it would further reduce the number of rental properties available.

It is set for a debate in the Dáil next Tuesday, while Sinn Féin is submitting a Dáil motion calling for the eviction ban to be extended until January 2024.

But a number of politicians have been raising the possibility of tenants over-holding to avoid eviction. 

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin was asked about the issue on RTÉ One’s Upfront, and he told presenter Katie Hannon that he believes it will happen a lot over the coming weeks and months.

‘Lives in the real world’

The Dublin Mid-West TD said he would not be encouraging it but added that he “lives in the real world” and so expects it arise more and more.

Similarly, People Before Profit–Solidarity TD Mick Barry said he believes the numbers over-holding will increase “sharply” as a result of the lifting of the eviction ban.

“Many renters across the country have already been forced to overhold rather than be evicted into homelessness,” the Cork North-Central TD said. 

“I have no doubt that the numbers forced to do this will increase sharply now in the weeks and months ahead. I strongly urge that no council cut Hap payments, for any renter who decides to over-hold rather than they be made homeless.”

Right to Change deputy Collins contended that over-holding does not constitute breaking the law, as the landlord and tenant can enter into dispute resolution with the Residential Tenancies Board.

“What normally happens is that a representative – me or one of our councillors in the office – will write to the landlord advising them that our constituent is over-holding and and that he or she has an option to go to the RTB.

“Then they have to go to the RTB to get an order for the person to go out, and then if the person still hasn’t got anywhere, we’d appeal it then.”

She added: “My own conscience and my own morals and political morals could not advise someone to move out if they have nowhere to go.”


The Tánaiste did not address the urgings by some left-wing TDs for tenants to resist evictions during his trip to New York City yesterday. 

Micheál Martin told The Journal that many TDs have had to work on similar specific cases where they “seek extra time” to resolve issues for tenants in their constituency. 

This “hands-on engagement” would be needed over the coming while, Martin said.

“We’ve all dealt with cases in the past where we work with local authorities, we worked with the people who were selling, and we do seek an extra time to get the issue resolved. That’s not new. I don’t mean over-holding but I mean an agreement that will prevent . . . people from from going homeless.

“But above all, it’s about the long term effectiveness of the rental market, we need more people to let out their homes. We need more people come into the market and we need to stop people exiting the market.”

Speaking to RTÉ today, Martin said Government received advice that if it was to extend the eviction ban it would have had to be for two years and that it would have to be underpinned by “strong legal support”.

However, he said extending the ban would make the situation worse.

“That is the real hard decision that had to be taken because otherwise we would just continue to make it worse,” he said.

He said it would result in more people leaving the market due to concerns over certainty or yield.

Martin said Government and local authorities “will do everything we possibly can” to prevent people becoming homeless.

He said there was a need to increase supply and build more houses.

“In the short term, we will be leasing more housing, particularly social houses,” he said.

MMartin said advice given to government was that extending the eviction ban would add to the number of landlords leaving the market and “certainly wouldn’t incentivise” any one else from entering.

“We didn’t want to make the situation worse and create an even further prospect of homelessness into the future,” he said.

“The solution to this is more housing,” he added.

Collins said a government proposal to allow private tenants who are not on an assistance payment or on the housing list to be offered first refusal to buy the house, is “just a joke”.

“That’s not going to happen because they haven’t legislation ready,” she claimed.

Collins added that if there are standoffs between people hired to evict tenants then she expects renters groups to rally to support them as they’ve done in the past. 

“It may come to that,” she said. 

New York City reporting by Christina Finn, additional reporting by Press Association

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