- 07 Mar 23
The government's plan to keep landlords in the rental market includes the possibility of tax breaks totalling €14,000 per year.
Despite recent appeals from homelessness organisations, the eviction ban is coming to an end on March 31. Coalition leaders agreed to keep some renters in "phased protection" until June.
After a lengthy meeting with party leaders and Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien, it was agreed that a detailed memo to end the eviction ban would be presented to the Cabinet today, Tuesday, 7th March 2023.
"The phased basis out to June is already provided for in the legislation. Depending on the length of your tenancy and when your notice to quit was issued, your tenancy will end sometime between April 1 and June 18 - that was included in the original legislation so there would be no cliff edge," a source said.
The Department of Finance has been hesitant to open the door to any potential tax breaks for landlords as part of measures to keep the eviction ban in place. Any changes must be made within the context of the October budget.
The government's plan to keep landlords in the rental market includes the possibility of tax breaks totalling €14,000 per year. The plans are being considered in light of the upcoming budget as they might cost taxpayers up to €794 million.
“It’s inhuman and shameful.” @pb4p deputy @RBoydBarrett says the Govt lifting the eviction ban will consign thousands of people to a “terrifying” and “cruel” outcome: homelessness. He says it’s a disgusting outcome and proof why FF & FG need to be kicked out @rtenews pic.twitter.com/r9VWbcwPBN
— Paul Cunningham (@RTENewsPaulC) March 7, 2023
Darragh O'Brien stated that the government intends to keep the number of landlords constant in order to avoid a decrease in supply while also avoiding an increase in the price of rented housing. As a result, the government is (reportedly, though results have yet to be seen) working on new measures to ensure tenancy and prevent homelessness.
He said the government had strengthened tenants’ rights considerably in recent years, but that "anything we do will have to be carefully calibrated to make sure we’re not seeing a decrease in supply in that sector".
According to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the Cabinet would "have to weigh up the pros and cons" of the eviction ban today.
"I think anyone who’s been following this debate understands that it’s not a black-and-white decision. There are pros and cons. We have to weigh that up, and Cabinet will make a decision," he said.
📻 "This is completely the wrong decision... the Eviction Ban was a sticking plaster so that we could do radical surgery, but the Housing Minister & the 3 party leaders haven't done that."
Green Party TD @neasa_neasa on #TodayCB @RTERadio1 @rtenews
— Today with Claire Byrne (@TodaywithClaire) March 7, 2023
Green Party TDs have stated their opposition to the repeal of the eviction ban, with Dublin Central TD Neasa Hourigan showing her support for the measure's retention.
A number of homelessness charities, politicians, and activists have called for the eviction ban to be extended. However, the ban "has had very little effect" on reducing homelessness, according to Pat Davitt, Chief Executive of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Vaulers.
The ban, he explained, was intended to give the government more time to put new housing on the market and reduce the number of homeless people. However, the number of homeless people has increased, and there isn't much new housing on the market.
O'Brien therefore also sees a huge importance in accelerating plans and expanding the provision of social housing in 2023.
He will bring an update on these plans to Cabinet and outline how the ministry plans to deliver 1,500 social homes by 2023, with each local authority receiving a target number.
The decision not to extend the ban on no-fault evictions is a ‘mistake’ with significant consequences. The failure of the government to listen to homeless organisations about the reality facing front-line services is alarming. #EvictionBan
— FocusIreland (@FocusIreland) March 7, 2023
Focus Ireland believes that lifting the eviction ban was a mistake and that the government's failure to listen to homelessness organisations about the reality that front-line services face is extremely concerning.
Mike Allen, Focus Ireland‘s Director of Advocacy said: "There are virtually no free beds in emergency homeless accommodation and all local authorities are facing huge problems in increasing supply of emergency shelter. The Government has essentially decided to live with a level of street homelessness which has never been considered tolerable before."
With the concern that both adults and children may be affected by the lifting of the ban, he adds: "The Irish public have made it very clear over many years that do not accept that people should be forced to sleep rough, and it is almost inevitable that the Government will face increasing pressure over the coming months to reconsider this decision and re-introduce some form of new eviction ban."
"Government ministers have repeatedly called for 'balance' but in their handling of this issue have blatantly failed to do so. We would expect over the next few weeks to see not only 're-actived' Notices of Termination issued before the ban, but also a new wave of terminations from landlords who have been unsettled by the Government's stop-start approach to this issue."
Focus Ireland is adamant about taking decisive action to keep small landlords in the market and people in rented housing. Urgent action is required to ensure that homeless families receive a fair share of the available social housing.
There have been various reactions to this on Twitter:
Thank you everyone for supporting Tathony House tenants yesterday.
This morning I wake up to hear that the eviction ban won't be extended.
Thousands of tenants with notices will be in tears and panicking about what to do.
We have to keep fighting this landlord government! ✊ pic.twitter.com/SrYln9YMN5
— Cllr Madeleine Johansson (@cllrjohansson) March 7, 2023
I’m so sorry to hear this Elizabeth.
🚨Minister @DarraghOBrienTD, protections must be put in place to ensure renters don’t find themselves in these situations.
🚨Lifting the eviction moratorium without a plan for those at risk of homelessness is cruel and completely avoidable.
— Alfonso Bonilla (@otrosnosotros) March 7, 2023
OK so Eviction Ban to End, Landlords to get Substantial Tax Breaks 🤔 So basically there'll be mass evictions, increased Homelessness, Landlords will re advertise for Higher Rents and get Tax Breaks in the Process 🤔 Have I missed anything @FineGael 🤔
— Joey (@noshyteplease) March 7, 2023
Lifting of eviction ban will make the crisis worse.
"People are being failed by the housing system and are now facing a cliff edge," says @CathMurphyTD
"They have nowhere to go." pic.twitter.com/2LgftIemx6
— Social Democrats (@SocDems) March 7, 2023