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New legislation Landlords could no longer demand several months rent up upfront under potential new laws

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris recently said it is “utterly unacceptable” that students are being asked for in some cases a full year’s rent up front

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Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien. Photo: PA

Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien. Photo: PA

Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien. Photo: PA

Tenants will no longer face demands from landlords to pay several months of rent up upfront under new laws to be discussed by the Cabinet.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien is seeking Cabinet clearance for legislation which will effectively ban the practice of landlords seeking several months from renters seeking to secure accommodation.

Landlords will only be able to seek a deposit and an advance payment totalling no more than two months rent when accepting new tenants. Any advance payment will also be restricted to going towards a tenant’s first month of rent.

The new rules will be welcomed by students seeking accommodation for the new college year as they regularly faces demands for several months of rent up front.

Students will still be able to give advance rental payments if they wish but landlords will not be able to force them to do so.

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris recently said it is “utterly unacceptable” that students are being asked for in some cases a full year’s rent up front.

Minister O’Brien will also seek Cabinet approval to extend for another six months protections for tenants who fell into arrears due the Covid-19 pandemic The Rental Protections Bill was due to elapse on July 13 but will now be extended until January 2022.

The bill prevents landlords from increasing rents or evicting anyone who has fallen into rent arrears if they have been financially impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.

The protections mostly apply to tenants in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) or the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) or any illness benefit.

The rental protections are only offered to people who are five months or less in arrears. Tenants are required to self-declare if they cannot pay their rent bill and contact the Residential Tenancy Board for advice.

Separately, Mr O’Brien will seek permission to extend the period for local authorities to draft their country and city development plans by another year.

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The move is aimed at giving councils more time to discuss their development plans after missing out on vital meeting due to the pandemic.

It is expected the Cabinet will also discuss the plight of thousands of homeowners impacted by defective concrete contaminated by Mica.

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