As the world faces uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, MyFairShare is working to continuously provide stability and peace of mind regarding your rental and living needs. The World Health Organisation declared the spread of coronavirus as a pandemic – meaning the worldwide spread of a new disease. To “flatten the curve” and prevent more people from spreading and contracting the virus, the government introduced several public health measures and everyone is urged to stay in their home wherever possible until Monday 18th of May (although this is subject to revision).
In order to mitigate risk, many businesses are transitioning into contactless and/or digitised assistance for their customers. Luckily for MyFairShare users, the present and future of our platform has always relied on and promoted digitisation for fast and efficient services.
What new measures are currently in place regarding housing and accommodation?
According to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, a series of emergency measures were approved that protect tenants from eviction and ensure all residents have secure living arrangements throughout the duration of the Emergency Period. Guidance Documents on COVID-19, Tenant and Landlord Supports provide more information on how COVID-19 regulations may impact you personally.
Notice of Termination cannot be served by a landlord during the Emergency Period. The passage of time during the COVID-19 Emergency Period pauses the tenancy and resumes only after the period ends. All contracts, policies and tenant/landlord information will remain visible on MyFairShare along with any subsequent changes.
For tenants who are looking to move into new accommodation, one issue is the inability to view the property in person due to strict social-distancing regulations. MyFairShare helps facilitate viewings via its online platform, ensuring both landlords and tenants alike are safe but still able to gather the insight they need to make informed decisions regarding rentals and homelife.
Threshold, a registered charity whose aim is to secure a right to housing, particularly for households experiencing the problems of poverty and exclusion, provides further information about tenancies affected by COVID-19 measures.
How is rent affected during the Emergency Period?
Tenants are still required to pay rent to their landlord during this Emergency Period. If tenants have difficulty paying their rent, they can contact the Department of Employment and Social Protection as COVID-19 income support and rent supplements are available.
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government explained that landlords may also be subject to certain flexibilities – such as 3 month mortgage breaks which will be offered to those with buy-to-let mortgages whose tenants have been impacted by the virus. Consequently, it is the government’s expectation that landlords will pass that flexibility on to their tenants. Both tenants and landlords are encouraged to engage with one another immediately if facing any difficulties.
While landlords are still able to serve a rent review notice during the Emergency Period, the notice will only take effect after the period ends – including those served prior to Emergency Period commencement. Rent reviews must contain items detailed in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to be valid (refer to this sample notice). To avoid difficulty, property owners could commence the rent increase from the next rent due date after the Emergency Period has expired. Communication is strongly encouraged to take place via our secure MyFairShare platform to ensure all parties understand and meet expectations.
MyFairShare will continue its due diligence to provide you with updated resources and information about COVID-19 regulations and all of your accommodation needs.
If you have been impacted by COVID-19 and are seeking government assistance or more detailed information, review these links:
- Guidance Documents on COVID-19, Tenant and Landlord Supports
- Advice for renters whose tenancies are affected by COVID-19 measures
- Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government COVID Policies
- Department of Employment and Social Protection
- Residential Tenancies Board’s rent calculator
- Irish Property Owners Association