Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has urged the Government to immediately extend the ban on evictions, notices to quit and rent increases in order to protect thousands of renters from sudden homelessness.
Teachta Ó Broin said: “The emergency ban on evictions, notices to quit and rent increases runs out in seven days. Tens of thousands of renters are covered by the ban. The Government must extend it immediately and ensure the extension lasts until the end of this year.
“Failure to do so could put tens of thousands of renters at risk of homelessness. It also has the potential to destabilise whole sections of the private rental market.
“I do not believe that it is impossible to craft constitutionally sound legislation to address this issue. Property rights are not absolute. So long at the legislation is proportionate and provides landlord and tenants with due process I believe it can meet the requirements of the Constitution.
“If the Government has contrary legal advice then they should publish it. However, Sinn Féin makes no apology for standing by renters. In Government we would be willing to go all the way to the Supreme Court to ensure renters are protected.
“In addition to extending the ban, Government must introduce a rent arrears debt resolution process including the option of partial and full arrears debt write downs.
“The Government must also do more to ensure that banks provide interest free mortgage payment breaks to landlords whose tenants are affected by Covid-19 income loss. Good landlords must not be victim to reckless profiteering by lenders during the pandemic.”