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Temporary ban on evictions to be implemented during six-week Level 5 restrictions

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced this evening that Ireland will move to Level 5 restrictions for six weeks.

Image: Shutterstock/LU YAO

A TEMPORARY BAN on evictions will be in place for the next six weeks, the government has confirmed. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced this evening that Ireland will move to Level 5 restrictions for six weeks in response to an alarming surge in Covid-19 cases. 

These are the most severe set of restrictions in the government’s Living with Covid roadmap, but today’s announcement contains some ‘softer’ measures such as social bubbles and additional guests at wedding ceremonies.

The restrictions will come into effect from midnight on Wednesday night.

In a statement this evening, the government confirmed that a moratorium on evictions will be put in place for the duration of the six-week period. 

“Level 5 restrictions will remain in place for a period of six weeks. Given the difficulties that these restrictions place on individuals and families across the State, the risk of job losses and of poverty and homelessness, the government has agreed that the moratorium on evictions be reinstated,” the statement said.

During the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis in Ireland, a range of protections were put in place for people affected by the pandemic.

The rental protections during the emergency period included the ban on eviction notices and rent increases. These protections ended on 1 August. 

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Those measures were then replaced by new rental laws that protect tenants economically affected by Covid-19 who have fallen into rent arrears and who are at risk of losing their tenancy. Those rental laws apply until 10 January 2021. 

National housing charity Threshold has welcomed the prospect of the reintroduction of a ban on evictions as the new restrictions are to be implemented. 

“Once the moratorium on evictions came to an end in August this year, the number of tenants requiring Threshold’s assistance with notices of termination increased, and went back almost to 2019 levels,” Threshold CEO John-Mark McCafferty said.

“It was a return to business as usual for tenants, not knowing if they could count on having a home in a few weeks or months. This will be compounded by an anticipated significant rise in unemployment, meaning that more households will have reduced incomes.”

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