The Government has announced a temporary ban on evictions and a pause on rent increases for an initial period of three months, while the Covid-19 crisis is ongoing. 

The legislation is expected to be brought before the Dáil next week. 

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, who announced the measures, said they were necessary measures to help renters. 

He said: "If you're a renter and your rent is frozen for the period of this emergency you can't be asked to pay more in rent than you're currently paying. 

"Also if you're a renter you can't be asked to leave the accommodation that you are in for the period of the emergency."

Peter Dooley, Co-Founder Dublin Renters Union, welcomed the measures but said they do not go far enough. 

"We are looking for  a suspension of rent payments for people who have lost their jobs. 

"I think it's vital that nobody should pay rent who have lost their jobs in the next period of time and it should be reviewed at the end of June for instance."

Labour TD Alan Kelly also called on the Government to do more. "We need to ensure that people who have bills who can't pay their rent that these are paid by the State. 

"We cannot allow for rent bills to be crystallised for people who have now lost their jobs," he said.

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The Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy is expected to bring forward the legislation to protect renters when the Dáil meets next Thursday. 

The Government said tenants will be expected to pay rent during this period and it said income supports and Rent Supplement is available to those struggling to do so. 

It comes after the five main banks announced measures yesterday including  three month mortgage breaks - which will be offered to those with buy-to-let mortgages whose tenants have been impacted by the virus. 

Meanwhile, Mr Murphy has said he is self-isolating "as a precaution" due to Covid-19.

A spokesman for Mr Murphy said the Minister made the decision after returning from visiting family abroad, adding that he travelled before any travel advice was issued.

The Minister "has maintained a full work schedule via phone and teleconference like many across the country at the moment," the spokesman said.