With rents doubling in the last decade, almost 40pc above pre-crisis levels in Dublin and 20pc up across the rest of the country, renting is not seen as a long-term option for many people. We need to change this.
Many renters live in fear of so-called ‘no-fault’ evictions, a practice that needs to end now by restricting the grounds for evictions as Labour’s bill seeks to do. Through providing more detailed information on the Private Residential Tenancies Register – including the number and duration of previous tenancies, and any refurbishment works which may have been undertaken – we can end the practice of landlords charging what they want with very little transparency.
We know that unaffordable rents are crippling renters. There are structural things that need to be dealt with to make renting more affordable for all people – single people, married people, young workers, retired people. Labour would link annual rent increases to the Consumer Price Index after a 3-year rent freeze, and would declare the entire State a rent pressure zone.
Many renters are faced with very poor quality housing and a host of unfair restrictions that in many cases prevent most renters from seeing their rented home as a permanent one. This is contributing to the enormous demand for buying houses and apartments. In other European countries, it is common for renters to be able to keep pets and to request an unfurnished property, so that renting is seen as a more reliable long-term option for families and for individuals.
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