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Factsheet for case IE-2020-13/819 Updated – measures in Ireland

Restrictions on evictions and rent freezes for landlords

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 27 March 2020 – 05 March 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Keeping a safe home
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Case created 06 May 2020 (updated 02 February 2021)

Background information

The housing situation had been a longstanding issue of concern for the Irish public. Mainly due to an undersupply of dwellings, house prices and rents are comparatively among the highest in Europe. Rents or mortgage payments are the largest proportion of income people in Ireland spend. The job or income losses due to the pandemic situation has aggravated this crisis, increasing the difficulty many people face with keeping up with mortgage and rent payments. At the same time, the possibility to find new accommodation is reduced in times of the public health policy with social distancing. As part of its package of 'Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Act 2020' the Irish government therefore introduced restrictions on evictions and rent freezes for landlords.

Content of measure

The Government Act includes new measures to protect renters, during the emergency period of 3 months.

  1. Renters may not be evicted from their home, or
  2. Be served a notice of termination by their landlord. Notices of termination which the renter had received prior to the emergency period are frozen for the duration of the emergency (3 months).
  3. It is also prohibited for landlords to increase rents.

All types of rentals are included, such as shared accommodation with the landlord, student accommodation and ‘digs’ type accommodation where meals are provided.

Renters shall continue to pay rent and continue to follow any rules as part of their tenancy.

Renters having difficulties to pay their rents should contact their landlords and possibly agree on a reduced amount for the duration of the emergency measures. For those having lost their jobs or part of their employment income, a means tested social welfare, rental support benefit is available.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

26 January 2021

The ban on evictions has been extended to 5 March 2021 with a ten-day grace period after this. This was due to the extension of level 5 restrictions until 5 March 2021.

20 October 2020

A general ban on evictions is in place for the six week period from 21 October 2020 that Ireland is in Level 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID-19 and for any other period when a five kilometre restriction on movement is in place.

20 October 2020

In October 2020, an eviction ban was introduced for any period when people’s movement is restricted to 5 kilometres from their home as part of COVID-19 restrictions. This means that tenants cannot be evicted when the country is at Level 5 of COVID-19 restrictions from 31 December 2020 to 31 January 2021 and for a ten-day grace period after this.

22 June 2020

The Government agreed to extend the emergency period during which rent increases and tenancy terminations (in all but limited and exceptional cases) are prohibited. The emergency period will be extended to 20 July 2020.

Use of measure

Not known yet.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Other groups of citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

No involvement

Views and reactions

No information available on social partner involvement.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Restrictions on evictions and rent freezes for landlords , case IE-2020-13/819 (measures in Ireland), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.