More than 4,000 notices to quit served in final quarter of 2022, figures show
More than 4,000 notices to quit were recorded in the final three months of 2022, new figures show, amid warnings of a “tsunami” of evictions due in the coming months.
As the government’s temporary winter eviction ban was lifted on Saturday, warnings were issued that homeless services could buckle under a spike in demand.
Quarterly-issued figures published on Monday by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) show that during October, November and December some 4,329 notices to quit were sent to tenants.
In 58% of cases, the reason given for issuing the notice to quit was because the landlord intends to sell the property, while a further 16% said that the landlord or a family member intends on moving into the property.
Almost half of the notices were issued in Dublin (43.2%), while 10.9% were issued in Cork, 6.7% in Galway and 4.7% in Limerick.
This compares with 4,741 notices to quit issued between July and September.
Since July 6 2022 landlords have been required to send a copy of notices of termination (NoT) to the RTB on the same day that the notice is served on the tenant, otherwise the notice is invalid.
In the years previous, the requirement was to notify the RTB within 28 days of the termination date. As a result, it is difficult to compare eviction notice figures from the past two quarters with previous quarters (1,131 notices reported in Q1 and 1,666 in Q2 of 2022).
The RTB has also said that one eviction notice could relate to multiple tenants in a tenancy or separate notices could be received for each tenant in a dwelling.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said a notice of termination “does not necessarily result” in an eviction, but added that “a large number” of landlords appeared to be leaving the rental market.
“If someone is in receipt of the housing assistance payment (HAP) or rental accommodation scheme (RAS), then they are eligible for social housing,” the minister said, listing the options available to those at risk of eviction.
“Where they are concerned about becoming homeless following an NoT on grounds of sale, then they should immediately contact their local authority and provide the local authority with a copy of the NoT issued by the landlord. The local authority will advise on possible housing supports which can include the purchase of the property by the local authority for continued use by the tenant.
“If they are above the social housing limits and at risk of homelessness, then a tenant in situ cost rental option will be available whereby the Housing Agency can buy the home for cost rental. So, the tenant can continue to live in the home and pay a ‘not for profit’ rent.
“Finally, if the household are above the social housing income limits but wish to buy their own home, as most renters do, then they will be supported to buy the home from the landlord should they wish to do so.
“If they require additional finance to buy the home, then they will be able to access the First Home Scheme to help them afford it. They will also be able to apply for the local authority home loan which is a State-backed mortgage.”
Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald called on the government to reverse its “awful, drastic decision” to lift the eviction ban at the end of March, despite record high homeless figures and supply issues.
The Dublin TD argued that the reason why more than half of landlords who issued notices to quit in Q4 could be selling their properties was “because property prices now are so high”.
“If you had an experience of becoming an accidental landlord, maybe experiencing negative equity for a long time, things have now shifted, they’re out of those circumstances and they wish to sell on their property,” she said on RTE’s Six One programme.
“So the issue now and the focus needs to be not so much on the landlords but on the State and the government – what is the government’s response?
“Because, let’s be clear, landlords didn’t create this crisis.
“Landlords, in the final analysis, don’t carry a responsibility to protect citizens, government does, so they need to intervene and they need to intervene quickly.”
Social Democrat TD Cian O’Callaghan said Ireland was facing “a tsunami” of thousands of evictions in the coming months.
“Thousands of people across the country are competing for a handful of available rental properties. This is causing immense stress to those who are facing into eviction with nowhere to go,” he said.