Counties with urban centres are facing a rise in homelessness after the Government controversially announced plans to lift the evictions ban.
New figures show Dublin, Cork and Galway are the counties with the most tenants issued notices to quit by their landlords before the moratorium on evictions was introduced last year.
The Residential Tenancy Board (RTB) data showed 4,741 notices to quit were issued by landlords in the three months leading up to when the eviction ban was announced on October 28.
The vast majority – around 39pc – or 1,839 notices, were given to tenants in Dublin, while a further approximately 10pc, or 500, were sent to renters in Cork.
Galway residents made up around 6pc or 286 of the cases while Limerick renters made up about 4.5pc or 211 cases.
The lowest number of eviction notices were issued for Monaghan (26), Leitrim (27) and Cavan (33).
It also emerged the vast majority of landlords who issued notices to quit to their tenants did so because they wanted to sell their property.
The 4,741 eviction notices registered is a major spike to the figures released for April-June which showed there were 1,666 notices issued in this period.
In the first three months of last year, there were 1,132 notices given to renters.
Government sources said the rise in figures is due to a new method for recording notices to quit and does not mean all were fully implemented.
However, with the Government’s eviction ban set to end on March 31, tenants who were issued notices ahead of the moratorium now face being asked to leave.
The chronic shortage of rental properties and emergency accommodation means thousands may be left homeless in the coming month.
On Tuesday, the Cabinet unanimously agreed to lift the ban on evictions but promised new measures, including tax incentives, to encourage landlords to stay in the rental market.
Ministers also agreed to a scheme which will give tenants first refusal on properties they are living in if their landlord decides to sell.
Housing agencies and local authorities will also be permitted to buy tenant homes being put on sale by landlords.
They can currently only buy properties if the person is in receipt of a social housing payment but this is to be extended to all tenants.
However, the Government has yet to publish any details around the two plans.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien admitted lifting the eviction ban will result in more people becoming homeless but said it had to be done to ensure more landlords do not flee the rental sector.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr O’Brien said he believed around 2,700 evictions were paused when the ban was introduced last year.
The new RTB figures suggest far more people are facing eviction than the figure suggested by the minister.
The data from the state agency also shows 2,845 landlords who issued notices to quit said they wanted to sell.
This equates to about 60pc of all notices to quit between July and September 2022.
The second-highest reason was because a landlord wanted a family member to move into the property, with about 17pc or 794 landlords stating this as the reason behind an eviction.
The third-highest reason for eviction was tenants breaching their tenancy obligations, with 738 cases listed.
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said Government leaders had to answer whether or not they were aware of the figures when they decided to lift the eviction ban.
“If the Government, and particularly those four politicians (Leo Varadkar, Eamon Ryan, Micheál Martin and Darragh O’Brien), knew these figures, then it makes them callous, because it means they took the decision knowing the scale of the crisis coming down the line,” Mr Ó Broin said.
“If they didn’t know these figures, then that makes them incompetent — because how could you make such a decision, knowing those figures were to be published this week, and not wait for them?” he added.