Minister must move before extortionate deposits become the norm – O’Sullivan

24 July 2017

Responding to reports that Ireland’s biggest private landlord is asking tenants for two months’ rent as a deposit, Labour spokesperson on Housing, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has called on the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, to intervene.

Commenting on the reports, Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government needs to urgently check the legality of the practice by Irish Residential Properties Reit where they are now looking for two months’ rent plus a security deposit. Under their statutory powers the Residential Tenancies Board has the power to intervene in situations like this. Minister Murphy should not delay in referring this case to the Residential Tenancies Board to check the legality.

“Reports today show that on average REIT charges €1,500 a month to rent one of their properties. It will become absolutely impossible for people on average incomes to be able to pay upwards of €4,000 to secure a property. This practice by REIT needs to be stopped immediately before it becomes the norm amongst landlords and people on average incomes become priced out of the rental market completely.

“The Government now has a real opportunity to implement the deposit retention scheme that was legislated for in 2015. Labour fought hard to secure this new scheme and it is disappointing that Fine Gael are dragging their feet on this much needed protection that is common in many other countries.

“Minister Murphy could use this legislation to bring in regulations to prohibit companies like REIT from charging sky-high rates to tenants who wish to secure their properties.

“The Government needs to urgently move to test the legality of the practice of REIT before it becomes the norm, and renters who are already being squeezed by a tough market suffer even more.”

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