On 23 March 2020 the Minister of Finance announced:
1. A freeze of rental increases; and
2. Protection against tenancy terminations.
This means that for the next 3 months landlords cannot apply to the Tenancy Tribunal to end a tenancy for rental arrears, unless the tenant is at least 60 days behind in rent. The tribunal will take into account what would be fair in the circumstances and whether the tenant made reasonable efforts to pay rent.
It must be noted that tenants are still liable for rent, and the landlord can ask tenants to pay what is due. Therefore a landlord can ask the tribunal to make a monetary order for rental arrears.
Landlords must not visit their tenants or carry out inspections during Level 4. However, a virtual inspection may be carried out with agreement from the tenants.
Tenants who are self-isolating have no obligation to tell their landlord.
If tenants have already given notice to vacate their current rental property, tenants are able to withdraw their notice. If Landlords give notice to their tenants to end the tenancy it has no effect during level 4 lockdown. If tenants still wish to move after the lockdown has been lifted they only need to give 21 days written notice.
If you cannot pay your rent, the first step you should take is to immediately inform your landlord. Ideally you and the landlord should then come to an agreement regarding a payment plan.
Below is a link to more information. If you require any legal assistance or further guidance during this time please do not hesitate to contact us.
written by Yvette Farmer