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Social Democrats’ Bill to protect tenants and stem homelessness

The Social Democrats today publish a Bill to help tackle hasty evictions, unfair rent hikes and growing homelessness by strengthening tenants’ rights.

The party is seeking cross-party support for its Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill 2018 which extends the minimum notice period for terminations of tenancies and strengthens tenants’ rights in relation to how rent caps are monitored and applied.

Party co-leader Róisín Shortall TD will introduce the private members’ bill in the Dáil today.

Speaking ahead of its introduction, Deputy Shortall said:

“The very short notice periods that are currently in place for renters – as low as 28 days in some cases – are undoubtedly a factor in driving the surge in homelessness. In the current climate, where there is a severe housing shortage, it is very difficult for tenants and the housing services that support them to find alternative accommodation in such a short space of time.

“Landlords’ rights to end tenancies must be balanced with protections for renters, who can at the moment be asked to vacate their homes almost at the drop of a hat.  This Bill significantly extends the minimum number of weeks’ notice that tenants must be given when landlords are terminating a tenancy. Under the Bill, landlords would have to provide tenants with at least 3 months’ notice before terminating tenancies.”

Deputy Shortall added:

“The Bill also closes off a crucial loophole in our existing laws to prevent unfair rent hikes in areas where caps are supposed to apply.

“It does this by giving new tenants who are taking on leases in designated Rent Pressure Zones the right to know how much rent the previous tenants had been paying. At the minute, while the RPZ rules restrict landlords from increasing rents for new tenants by more than 4 per cent, there is no legal way for incoming tenants to know how much the previous tenants actually paid.”

ENDS

17 January 2017

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