Opposition parties have urged the Government to reinstate the blanket ban on evictions in order to help people who have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay rent.

Legislation was put in place earlier this year to protect tenants who can prove their income has been affected by the pandemic. 

It replaced a blanket rent freeze and eviction ban brought in when the virus first hit

Speaking in the Dáil, Labour leader Alan Kelly said that this overall ban on evictions and rent increases needs to be reinstated in Dublin after the move to Level 3 restrictions in the capital. 

He said that renters seem to be at the "bottom of the pile" for Government and emergency legislation is needed, as he said "debts will be crystallised" and people will be out on the street.

Deputy Kelly said that the current changes will only give protection from evictions until January for those who can prove that they have been financially impacted by a limited set of circumstances.

The Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald, said there is an urgent necessity for a ban on rent increases.

She said that people are under pressure across communities especially those in the rental sector. 

Thousands of workers are now without employment and rents are continuing to rise, she said. 

Ms McDonald said renters need assurance that the rent over their heads remains certain in this uncertain time.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said that unless the Government reinstates the eviction ban quickly, they will be throwing "renters to the wolves".

Solidarity and Socialist Party TD Mick Barry warned that it was an "ominous combination" with the increase in the virus and evictions on the rise. 

He asked if the Attorney General still believed there were grounds to weaken the evictions ban and he said the case for reinstating it was "overwhelming".

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government has introduced legislation until January to protect tenants who are in difficulty due to Covid-19.

He said that the blanket ban that had been in place initially was not constitutional.

The Taoiseach said that if the restrictions were to move up to Level 4 or 5, the Government would have to consider what additional supports should be brought in then.

However, he said that legal advice says that Level 3 measures do not merit the reintroduction of the blanket ban on evictions and rent increases that was in place during the lockdown.