Labour calls for urgent Government action on Rent hikes

17 August 2018

Labour Housing spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan TD has called for urgent government action on spiralling rent hikes including action to cap the rate of rent increases and changes to the eviction rules that are causing so much homelessness. The inaction by Fianna Fáil on so many policy proposals, who are keeping this government in power has exacerbated the problem she added.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“The Locked Out report from Simon Communities and today’s revelations from on rent increases show beyond doubt that Government must act to prevent more and more families from becoming homeless.

“I have repeatedly called for much tighter control and for the whole country to be a rent pressure zone; the 20.6% annual increase in Limerick is, in itself, evidence that the current system is broken but there is also an urgent need to publish a Rent Register so that new tenants know what the previous rent was and that they are not being fleeced and charged above the legal amount.

“There are other loopholes that need to be closed including landlords giving notice that they are doing up the property when there is no good reason to terminate the tenancy.

“The example of Margaret Cash also shows the need to change the law so that tenants are not evicted when rental properties are repossessed or sold. Tenants rights should be respected and their tenancy protected when properties are being sold. Commercial leases allow for this, and the same protection should apply to people.

“These are common sense proposals that would make a significant difference to people. The cost of renting is becoming totally unaffordable for many.

“The most important action needed is to speed up the State’s supply of social and affordable homes and to use the thousands of vacant houses and apartments around the country. At the same time, they cannot ignore the plight of those in the private rented sector who are finding it impossible to get or keep a home that they can afford. Action on AirBnB type short term lets would also make a real difference.

“The Minister and his colleagues have had enough holidays; it is time to deal with the stark reality that faces so many insecure families.”

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