Eviction ban: Housing committee votes for speedy passage of Bill through Dáil

‘Strong recommendation’ to the Minister for Housing that all local authorities be informed of every notice to quit from private rented accommodation

The Oireachtas Committee on Housing has unanimously agreed to waive pre-legislative scrutiny on the new Bill to ban all evictions from private rented accommodation until next April.

At a meeting on Thursday morning, the committee voted to allow the Residential Tenancies (Deferment of Termination Dates of Certain Tenancies) Bill 2022 to go directly to the Dáil and Seanad once it is drafted. This will allow a speedy passage through the Oireachtas.

Under current Oireachtas rules, proposed legislation must be sent to an all-party committee before drafting is completed to allow it scrutinise its provisions. There is provision for the Cabinet to seek for that condition to be waived when the legislation is urgent. That occurred in this case.

There has been across-the-board backing for the eviction ban in the Dáil and Seanad, although Opposition parties have argued it should have been introduced much earlier.


Chairman of the housing committee Stephen Matthews (Green Party) wrote to Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien informing him of the decision on Thursday.

He also said the committee had included a “strong recommendation” that where a notice to quit is issued that the relevant local authority is informed as well as the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

“This will help keep local authorities informed in tandem with the RTB and keep councils informed of potential homelessness risk when the eviction moratorium begins to come to an end from April 2023,” Mr Matthews said.

The RTB operates the register of private tenancies as well as resolving disputes between landlords and tenants.

One of the factors behind the Government decision to reverse its stance on an evictions ban was a substantial increase in the number of notices to quit in the private rented sector over the past year. The number increased 47 per cent between the first and second quarter of 2022 from 1,132 to 1,666.

Of those landlords who had issued notices to quit in the second quarter, some 1,011 said they intended to sell their property, thus removing the property from the rental sector. Many of those properties were being rented to tenants receiving payments under the Housing Assistance Payments or the Rental Accommodation Scheme.

Many families receiving assistance to pay their rents would have few options if evicted and would become homeless. The memo prepared by Mr O’Brien for Cabinet showed that 2,273 households would be evicted this winter.

Outlining the rationale for the winter ban on evictions, Mr O’Brien told colleagues accommodation in 19 of the 31 local authority areas was “at capacity”, with the four Dublin local authorities having been “at capacity at times over the summer” and in the last number or weeks.

In recent weeks, 55 per cent of families entering into emergency accommodation in August came from private rentals.

The emergency legislation will complete its passage through the Dáil and Seanad next week. The Government has also asked the President to consider the legislation under his Constitutional remit over a period of five days — which is a shorter period than usual — before deciding on if he will approve its enactment.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he hopes the ban will come into effect from early November and apply retrospectively to all notices which are “live”, including those issued before the new law becomes operational.

Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times