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Cabinet approves extension of temporary eviction ban

A freeze on rents and a ban on evictions has been extended until 1 August, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has announced.

It comes hours ahead of existing ban on evictions lapsing tonight.

The measure buys the Government more time to introduce longer term measures aimed at protecting vulnerable tenants.

The Minister said he had introduced a short extension under existing emergency legislation, which was brought in to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that this would give him time to bring forward “robust legislation” that will provide “real protection to tenants and property owners alike”.

Minister O’Brien said the earlier rent freeze and eviction moratorium were brought in under emergency legislation covering all tenancies regardless of tenants circumstances.

He added: “It is well known that they could not be extended indefinitely so it is important we have strong legislation, which combines targeting those who are most vulnerable with longer term measures.”

He said the new legislation would be brought before Cabinet on Thursday and would be in place before the Dáil rises for a summer break.

However, the Government’s management of the ban has been criticised by the opposition.

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said: “The Government’s mishandling of this issue is adding to the enormous uncertainty currently faced by both renters and landlords.

“If today’s deadline was to do with extending emergency protections for banks, insurance companies or developers, this issue would have been sorted out months ago.”

Social Democrats Cian O’Callaghan TD said: “It is shambolic that the Government is making this announcement hours in advance of the current ban expiring.”

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said: “First thing this morning, a man called into my clinic reporting that he had received an email from his landlord telling him he needed to vacate his apartment today.

“He had an eviction notice for the end of March, but it has all been on hold due to the pandemic.

“It is just not acceptable that the Government has effectively allowed the eviction ban to lapse by not making the necessary announcement before today.”

Source RTE David Murphy

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