Landlord and Tenant Advice
Commercial Tenancies During COVID 19 Crisis
The Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Bill expected to be passed in the coming days does not give any relief to tenants in commercial premises. While substantial relief is available now to residential tenants, no such relief is available to commercial tenants. Rent and covenants continue to run during the Emergency Period unless a lease makes specific provision to the contrary.
Many tenants will be unable to pay their rents and will be in breach of their lease conditions. Early engagement with landlords is advised and it is in both parties’ interests that a realistic adjustment should be made. Since the available advice is that this is a temporary emergency, any agreements reached should be treated as temporary. Landlords should be careful that any concession on rent should be regarded as forbearance and not an agreement to vary the rent. Tenants should be careful that in reaching an agreement with their landlord, they will not be regarded as having breached the terms of their lease if they meet the terms of any temporary arrangement. It is vital for both parties that any agreement is recorded in writing.
Residential Tenancies During COVID 19 Crisis
The Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Bill is expected to be passed in the coming days.
When passed there will be a Moratoriums on evictions and rent increases for residential tenancies for the duration of the COVID 19 emergency.
Tenants are encouraged to engage with their landlords as quickly as possible if they are facing difficulties. Landlords are encouraged to be flexible and understanding. While tenants will be expected to pay rent during this period, income supports and Rent Supplement is available to those struggling to do so. Any rent arrears built up will still be payable.
Speaking in the Dail, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said:
“I know that many people who are renting are worried about their living situation. I want to assure them that over the emergency period they will be able to remain in their homes. Today the government approved new measures to give the strongest possible protection to all renters at this time of national emergency. A moratorium on notices to leave rental accommodation is being introduced as is a moratorium on rent increases so that people will be safe in their homes during this period.”
The changes being drafted will last for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, after which residential tenancies will revert to the current legislative arrangements.