Members of Dail Eireann have passed the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) 2020 Bill (the “Bill”). This Bill has been passed in light of the “grave risk to human life and public health posed by the spread of the disease known as Covid- 19.” The Act will be cited as The Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 (the “Act”).
The three months following the Acts enactment will be referred to as the “emergency period.” This period may be extended upon the request of the Minister foe Housing, Planning and Local Government when such order would be in the public interest.
Notice of Termination
The Act will amend a number of preexisting acts, including the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (the “2004 Act”). During the emergency period landlords cannot serve a notice of termination in relation to a dwelling. Where a notice has already been served landlords cannot implement the notice. If a termination date falls with the emergency period this date shall be extended by the period of notice remaining at the commencement of the emergency period plus length of the emergency period.
Previously under section 67(3) of the 2004 Act the period of notice for termination by landlord where a tenant is in default was 14 days, this will be extended to 28 days. This does not allow landlords to serve a notice of termination after the 28 days, to serve a valid notice of termination they must serve the notice after the emergency period has ended.
Prohibition on Rent Increases
Demands for an increase in rent will be banned during the emergency period. This will cover rent increases that were due to begin during this period.
Proceeding before Tenancy Tribunal
The residential Tenancy Board Tribunal will continue to run, however the Tribunal will not be held in public during the emergency period.
Calculation of time limits relating to Planning and Development
The Planning and Development Act 2000 shall be amended to allow for the disregard of the emergency period when calculating any appropriate period, specified period or other time limit.