Rebalancing of rental market rights required

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
10 August 2021

Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has said that rents are likely to continue to rise until the Minister intervenes and rebalances the rights of renters in the housing market. Speaking today, Senator Moynihan said the consistent and persistent failures of Government to work to protect rents highlights a Government trapped by private interests.

Senator Moynihan said:

“Unfortunately there’s no doubt that rents will continue to rise and rise over the coming months as private interests look to make a quick buck off the back of one of the most vulnerable groups in our housing market – renters. This whole situation represents a broken housing market that responds to developers wants alone. There is an alternative to this. Earlier this year, myself and Deputy Ivana Bacik put forward a vision for renters’ rights that would strengthen renters’ power but also give them confidence in the rental market, which would help ease issues of supply in affordable homes for purchase.

“There should be proper security of tenure for renters who are long term in their home, including that if a landlord is selling their property, then the renter transfers with the sale. Renters need a break and Government needs to realise that people are renting homes, not investment opportunities. The Government’s current policy approach deprives so many renters of the opportunity to make their place their own. These are very basic, fundamental things that would go a long way to fixing the current housing crisis.

“The news reported today that landlords are selling properties effectively represents a breach of the eviction ban due to Covid restrictions. We had always warned that there would be a flooding of evictions once this ban was lifted due to the dearth of rights afforded to renters in Ireland. There is a clear and obvious need to improve the situation for renters in Ireland. Renters aren’t transient people who should be forced to accept sub-par accommodation just because they choose to, or cannot afford but to, rent.

“We can’t continue to have renters policy at the whim of landlords and private interests. While we could have been building high quality rental accommodation and accommodation to buy in apartments in the inner city, we gave permissions for things like student accommodation in large numbers. In my own area alone, there are over 4,000 units built for this purpose. This is not sustainable for communities. We need to build housing for people who want to live in our cities and live in our cities in the long term. We need to protect renters and take power back from private interests.”

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