The coalition is considering expanding the existing eviction ban to include additional exceptions for landlords, it said.
The three party leaders will meet on Monday night to discuss the options available, with Housing Secretary Darragh O’Brien also in attendance.
It is understood that three options will be explored, with no final decision made yet.
The first option would be to let the eviction ban expire at the end of March, but sources said that would be politically unsavory as the government is under significant pressure to protect tenants.
The second option would be to extend the current ban, with possible exceptions for landlords who want to move back into the property or allow their children to do so. The duration of such an extension is currently the subject of intensive discussions in the government.
A source said government officials are closely examining the attorney general’s advice, which allegedly raises issues surrounding such an extension.
However, it is assumed that such a step would be legally secured with an additional list of exceptions.
The third option would be a recurring winter clearance ban, but it is understood that legal issues have been raised around such a move.
This happens in France from the end of October to March. The “trêve hivernale”, the winter peace, has been part of French law since 1956.
It comes as Sinn Féin Chairwoman Mary Lou McDonald called for an extension to the ban on evictions, despite saying she accepts things can’t go on forever.
“I do think that without a doubt we need an extension of the ban on evictions. Some time ago we put forward a proposal and an amendment to the law to cater for people who need to return home or use their own property.
“I think we can look at that, but what we can’t do is let people who are vulnerable and who are in very stressful situations without the very much needed protection of the eviction ban,” she told the Irish Times.
Speaking in Co Kerry on Sunday, which she was attending for a civil war memorial event, she said the eviction ban was “a temporary measure, we absolutely accept that it cannot continue indefinitely but given the absolute failure of the government , to ensure the supply of problems they need, use this, to put it crudely, to buy some time”.
Fianna Fáil judiciary spokesman Jim O’Callaghan said the government must ensure that property owners’ rights are given “some recognition” when deciding to extend the moratorium on evictions.
“If you look at the eviction bans that were put in place during Covid and last winter, I think they were deserved and clearly constitutional. However, if there is a permanent ban on evictions, that is unconstitutional,” he told RTÉ Radio One’s This Week.
https://www.irishtimes.com/ireland/housing-planning/2023/03/05/eviction-ban-extension-may-make-exception-for-landlords-rehoming/ Eviction ban extension may make exception for landlords ‘moving’ – The Irish Times