Delaying Deposit Protection Scheme until 2019 bad for renters

17 November 2017

Labour Community Affairs spokesperson, Cllr Andrew Montague has expressed his disappointment on learning that the Government now intends delaying the introduction of a rent deposit protection scheme until 2019 saying it is bad for renters. The confirmation came from Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy follows the Labour Party raising it in the Dáil.

Cllr Montague said:

“After two years, the Government has failed to implement a tenancy deposit protection scheme which was passed into law in 2015, and now we have learned that they now intend to change the law again in 2018 and not introduce a scheme until 2019 at the earliest.

“This is a hugely disappointing development for renters, and more than likely we will be waiting for many years to see such a protection scheme brought in, if at all. It would appear that Fine Gael is dragging it’s feet on this to protect landlords, rather than working to ensure renters can be assured their deposit is properly protected.”

“Just a few months ago the stated intention of the Government was to scrap the law rather than bring in the much needed scheme so the change of policy is welcome.

“In the meantime it has come to light that some landlords are now demanding more than one months rent as a deposit, and the law should be changed to stop this.

“Labour introduced this deposit protection scheme so it is disappointing that Fine Gael are dragging their feet on this much needed safety net that is common in many other countries.

“Over 1 in 5 of the complaints at the Residential Tenancies Board relate to landlords not returning their deposits. A protection scheme would free up this time for other more pressing cases related to rent and tenancy disputes.

“The 10 year anniversary of the UK’s deposit protection scheme was at the beginning of June, but a decade on Ireland has still failed to act.

“I am disappointed that Fine Gael are refusing to help protect the most vulnerable tenants in our private rental market, standing by while over 20% of RTB time is wasted on disputes over deposits that could be eradicated with a tenant deposit scheme in Ireland.”

ENDS

Copy of letter available here: https://www.labour.ie/download/pdf/emurphy_letter_deposit_protection_scheme.pdf

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