Tenants who have been, and continue to be, affected economically by Covid-19 will be granted protection into the Summer season. According to a report in the Irish Examiner, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, presented a memo to Cabinet last week in order to extend protections which are approaching expiry, that being next month. 

This decision was made as Level 5 restrictions and business closures are set to continue for an undefined period of time. However, it will not extend the moratorium on evictions which is linked with the travel restriction of 5km.   

A spokesperson representing the minster recently stated, “The Residential Tenancies and Valuation Act 2020 came into effect in August 2020 and protects tenants negatively affected by Covid and experiencing rent arrears due from eviction up to April 12th, 2021. The protections under that act apply nationwide, subject to the tenant making an appropriate declaration to the Residential Tenancies Board. This memo seeks to extend the protections by a further three months.” 

Student’s View

Technological University Dublin students Jack Bartels and Jack Collins were quick to praise the decision made by Cabinet recently. The latter, who is also the recent founder of ProCare, pointed out that not only is it difficult for students to locate appropriate accommodation for the academic year within the capital, but it is proving to be a challenge to pay rent each month. Although Collins claims the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), his source of income has taken a dramatic plunge causing the challenge to be revealed. 

On Friday March 5th, the minister himself reiterated the aims of the Government in having construction sites back up and running next month, but he could not assure of it happening. 

He continued to say, “There are no guarantees, and it will obviously be based on public health advice. The NPHET advice that we made our decision on to extend the restrictions was very stark. I’m not going to speculate one way or the other, only to say that it is a priority for me and the Government that we can move to get certain parts of the sector open.” 

If Covid-19 trends continue as of present, Government sources are suggesting there is growing confidence that housing construction, at minimum, will be reopened in April. 

Caolan Dooley, Reporter