LAWLINK: Eviction imminent

Q: My partner and I have been renting a property in Limerick for the last few years. Our landlord told us prior to Covid that he was planning to retire and sell up his various properties. Things were delayed due to Covid, and then again due to some health troubles he had. He eventually served us with an eviction notice last year, which was due to expire at the start of December. He then told us that the law had changed and we didn’t need to move until March. He has now told us that we need to be out by the end of the month, although he has said that we can stay on for another week or two to get our things sorted. What can we do?

A: There has been a ban on evictions in Ireland from October 30, 2022, and will expire on March 31. There were suggestions that it would be extended given the current problems with tenants such as yourself finding alternative accommodation.

However, that did not come to pass and – given the length of your tenancy and when the notice of termination would have otherwise expired – the new termination date is deemed to be April 1.

The landlord is obliged to offer the property back to you if it isn’t sold within nine months of the date of the eviction. For your part, you should ensure that your landlord has all relevant contact details.

There are currently discussions as regards protections that might benefit you – including the possibility of you buying out the property from your landlord, or for a Approved Housing Body to purchase the property and rent it back to you. However, those proposals are in relatively early stages of development and – at the time of writing – are unlikely to be in place by the time your eviction is to take place.

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You should ensure that you liaise closely with your landlord as regards moving out. Clearly, he is not blind to the effect that the eviction may have on you. However, provided that he has complied with the various statutory requirements, he is entitled to seek to move you from his property for the purposes of sale.