Selective Evictions, O Brien cannot be Trusted, also Leo the Pink, takes another Shot, at Sinn Fein, Claiming, they want to Stop People, having the Right, of Free Speech?

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Tenants who ‘wilfully’ refuse to pay rent or damage property can still be evicted under any winter eviction ban

17th October 2022

Tenants who “wilfully” don’t pay their rent or damage the property can still be evicted during the Government’s possible eviction ban.

Other exceptions to the ban will include antisocial or criminal behaviour on the property.

Government leaders will tonight consider a possible moratorium on notice to quits (NTQs) which are served by landlords once they decide to evict their tenants.

Housing minister Darragh O’Brien has drawn up proposals on the measure which will be examined by Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

However, exceptions to the moratorium on NTQs will include evicting tenants who “wilfully” don’t pay rent, damage the house or apartment or take part in antisocial or criminal behaviour.

Landlords have to notify the Registered Tenancies Board (RTB) the same day they serve the quitting notice.

Under proposals from housing minister Darragh O’Brien, the moratorium will last until the end of March however, it is unclear when it may kick in.

The moratorium would be a “temporary” measure for a “set period”, said senior sources.

Mr O’Brien has legislation ready which the coalition leaders have been examining since last Friday and will discuss tonight.

The temporary ban would aim to put a stop to landlords selling up properties and exiting the market over the winter months.

Evictions which are due to fall during the moratorium will not be able to take place if a NTQ was served before the moratorium kicks in.

The eviction notice period increases for tenants who have lived in the property for long periods of time, for example, tenancies of less than six months means 90 day notice but tenancies of over nine years means over seven months.

It comes as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said any eviction ban would not be extended past March.

Mr Varadkar said the ban would be a “one-off proposal” if it is agreed by Government.

“His (Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien) proposal is that it would just be for the winter period, that it would be until the end of March and not be renewed then at that point,” he said.

“The Government has to weigh up pros and cons. There’s an obvious advantage and a good thing that people wouldn’t lose their homes over the winter period but we have to balance that against the possibility that it might make more landlords sell up or sell up more quickly in which case there will be less properties available in the long term.”

The Tánaiste said property rights of landlords are not “absolute” when asked if the ban would breach the constitutional rights of property owners who want to sell up their houses and have to evict tenants to do so.

“When it comes to constitutional issues, it’s always been the case in Ireland that property rights are subject to the common good, they’re not absolute.

“We have the property tax, we have compulsory purchase orders, we have rent pressure zones, so it’s never been the case that property rights in Ireland are absolute; they’re not.”

Despite Fianna Fáil often suggesting Fine Gael is to blame for not enough homes being built over the past 10 years, the Tánaiste suggested Fianna Fáil also has a role to play in the housing crisis, as it was in charge at the time of the banking crisis in 2010.

“We shouldn’t not acknowledge the underlying causes of the housing crisis. We had a housing crash and a banking collapse 12 years ago. The construction industry has never fully recovered since then, it doesn’t have the capacity to build as many houses as we’d like to,” he said.

“We have a rapidly growing population, 5.3m now, 80,000 more people living in the country than a year ago.”

Meanwhile, Mr Varadkar also raised concerns about whether Sinn Féin is strategically using legal threats to “stifle” public debate.

  • His comments come after calls for RTÉ chiefs to answer questions at an Oireachtas committee on why it decided to not an air interview with Shane Ross about his book on Mary Lou McDonald.
  • Ms McDonald is currently taking legal action against RTÉ and a number of her party colleagues have also previously taken legal action against the broadcaster.

Mr Varadkar said while he has not received any legal letters, three Fine Gael politicians have previously.

He said it seems an “almost strategic” use of legal action to try and “stifle debate”.

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