Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

21.14 20 Jul 2020


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The rent freeze and eviction ban have been extended until August 1st - a short 11-day extension to the previous cut-off date.

The emergency legislation implementing the measures had been due to expire at midnight tonight.

After an incorporeal Cabinet meeting this evening, the Government says they're extending the current emergency legislation to give them time to put forward legislation giving 'real protection' to tenants and landlords.

Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien says the Attorney General has advised him that the recent easing of restrictions is increasingly at odds with the initial need to restrict people's movement.

The minister said he has "obviously taken this advice on board".

He said: “The rent freeze and eviction moratorium were brought in under emergency legislation targeting all tenancies regardless of individual tenants’ circumstances.

"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 to address rent arrears, in place prior to the Dáil recess.

"This legislation will be brought to cabinet on Thursday."

Minister O'Brien again encouraged anyone who has lost their job due to the pandemic and is struggling to pay their rent to apply for the rent supplement.

Speaking earlier today, Sinn Féin's Housing Spokesman Eoin O'Broin said he is not surprised that the Attorney General opposed a longer extension of the ban.

He said: "Fine Gael before and now Fianna Fáil have appointed attorneys generals who take a much more conservative - with a small c - restrictive approach to property rights.

"Of course, if you appoint such an individual you can't then complain that you get the advice that you could have expected at the time.

"Within three weeks, Fianna Fáil's Housing Minister is already having a blazing row with Fianna Fáil's Attorney General over whether they can protect renters - that worries about where this Government is going to go."

Main image: File photo of Darragh O'Brien. Picture by: Rollingnews.ie

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