Three-quarters of notices to quit where a landlord claimed to need to evict a tenant to allow for renovations of their property were deemed invalid by housing charity Threshold’s advisers in the first three months of this year.
The tenants’ rights charity said the most common reason tenants received eviction notices in the first quarter of this year was that the landlord said they intended to sell the rental property. Threshold said some 41 per cent of the eviction notices where the landlord planned to sell that were reviewed by its staff were judged to be invalid.
Threshold said two out of three eviction notices its staff reviewed where the landlord claimed to need use of the property for themselves or a relative were believed to be invalid. In cases reviewed in the first three months of this year, where landlords said they needed the property vacated to carry out renovations, 75 per cent were suspected to be invalid by Threshold advisers.
If a tenant believes an eviction notice is invalid they can take a case to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), who will rule on the dispute with the landlord.
Housing and homeless charities have warned a decision to lift a Government ban on evictions at the start of April will lead to a significant increase in the number of people being evicted from the private rental market into homelessness.
Threshold has said it supported more than 9,000 households in the first quarter of this year.
It said more than 2,000 tenants who contacted the charity for the first time between January and March were at risk of homelessness, mostly as their landlord planned to sell their rental property. The charity said it assisted 1,262 of those households to remain in their rental homes, or to source alternative housing.
Ann-Marie O’Reilly, national advocacy manager at Threshold, said it was “extremely worrying” to see record numbers of households required support and assistance from the charity, while the eviction moratorium was still in place.
“This truly indicates the level of the crisis we are facing in this country,” Ms O’Reilly said.
The planned expansion of a Government scheme where tenants can remain in a rental property after it is sold, where a local council or housing body buys the home was “positive”, she said.
“While we welcome the Government’s consideration of tax breaks for small landlords in the upcoming budget, it is essential that any tax breaks provided are in exchange for increased security of tenure,” Ms O’Reilly said.