Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the government to do more to help renters who have lost work due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sinn Féin is calling for those with licences or verbal agreements to rent-a-room to be protected and for a rent reduction or rent waiver to be introduced.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Yesterday, the government published the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020, and included in the Bill’s 31 sections are a series of measures affecting renters.
“We welcome the publication of the Bill and if it is passed it will prevent landlords from issuing ‘Notices to Quit’ or to evict tenants for a minimum of three months. Landlords will also be prevented from increasing rents during this emergency period.
“Further, all existing ‘Notices to Quit’ and Residential Tenancies Board proceedings on such notices will be suspended. The Minister will have the power to extend these measures if the Covid-19 crisis continues.
“While welcoming these measures, I believe the Bill does not go far enough.
“I have submitted amendments to protect renters who don’t have a tenancy arrangement and who have licences or verbal agreements to rent-a-room.
“I have also submitted an amendment calling on the Minister to publish a report outlining measures that would provide for rent reductions or waivers for those in the private rented sector, who due to loss of income arising from Covid-19 restrictions have accumulated significant rent arrears during the emergency period.
“It is my hope that these amendments will receive wider support and that we can do right by renters.”