*COVID 19 PROPERTY*  By Marcus Lynch with Managing Partner Hugh O’Neill Of Marcus Lynch Solicitors 

Marcus Lynch and Hugh O'Neill Managing partner of Marcus Lynch Solicitors
Hugh O'Neill and Marcus Lynch of Marcus Lynch Solicitors 
We have had a number of queries from clients of ours who are landlords, some of whom are professional landlords and others people who have 1 or 2 houses that they have rented to their tenants. They have asked us, given the emergency legislation provided for the rental sector, to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. They have asked us for guidance in relation to how they will deal with their tenants. To assist us with these queries we have teamed up with Forbes Boyle Estate Agents who specialise in the letting and management of rental properties to provide advice and guidance to as broad a range of landlords as possible. 
 
Can a Landlord Serve a Notice of Termination on the Tenant during the crisis? 
 
The emergency legislation that has recently been enacted states that a landlord cannot serve a Notice of Termination in relation to the Tenancy of a dwelling during the emergency period. This means any Notice of Termination, even if it was one where your family member might want to move back into the property at some stage later this year or early next year, cannot be served until the emergency is over. 
 
Can a Landlord terminate a Tenancy during the crisis? 
 
A landlord cannot terminate a tenancy during the emergency period even if a previously served Notice falls due during the emergency period, essentially it is frozen in time for the emergency period but the tenant does have to pay their rent and other obligations under the tenancy agreement. 
 
What if the Tenant Cannot Pay the Rent? 
 
If the tenant unilaterally fails to pay rent you can send a non-payment warning letter. If you want help drafting such a letter please contact us. Note that the length of time for giving a warning has been increased from 14 days to 28 days. While you can send the letter in fact you can’t evict the tenant during the emergency period. However, If the tenant is now unemployed or availing of social welfare payments they might qualify for the Housing Assistance Programme (HAP) Scheme, We would advise any landlord in the current emergency situation to engage with the tenant to see if the tenant now qualifies for HAP and assist the tenant in applying for the HAP Scheme. This has the benefit, if they do qualify, of the landlord receiving a rent, and both parties maintaining good standing with each other. 
 
Other than ensuring that the Tenant applies for the HAP payment, the landlord should engage with their banks to see if they can get a waiver of their own loans under the provisions of the Covid-19 banking engagement. This would mean the landlord would need to inform the bank of the situation regarding their tenant and the non-payment of rent. 
 
If you wish to have expert legal advice for any situation in which you as a landlord find yourself with your tenants, please do not hesitate to contact Marcus Lynch Solicitors at 12 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1. 
 
You can look up our website on www.lynchlaw.ie or by phone on 01 8732134 or email; marcus.lynch@lynchlaw.ie 
Equally Forbes Boyle can help you look after all the day to day aspects of the Landlord Tenant relationship 
Tagged as: Covid 19
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