Labour’s Renters’ Rights Bill would provide security, transparency and comfort

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
23 June 2022
  • Provides for a rent register to give transparency about previous rents paid
  • Gives security of tenure by restricting excuses for evictions
  • Ends blanket ban on pets

Responding to research published by Threshold, Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said renters cannot continue to be forgotten by Government in addressing the housing crisis. With many renters aspiring to home ownership but feeling locked out of the opportunity to buy a home, Senator Moynihan said it is time to consider a Rent to Buy scheme in Ireland.

Senator Moynihan said:

“The Threshold report provides really clear evidence and insight into the mindset of many of our young renters in particular. More than 70% of people aged between 25 and 34 feel stuck in the rental market. With low wages, increased inflation and soaring house prices, Ireland’s aspirational young working people are increasingly feeling like there is no hope for them in this country. Government must commit to providing a new model for renters through the consideration of a Rent to Buy Scheme as well as fast-tracking Labour’s Renters’ Rights Bill which would immediately relieve some of the anxieties of renters.

“Labour has long proposed a Rent to Buy option which would convert rent paid in a property over the course of three years into a deposit for the property that they would then go on to own.

“For respondents in the Threshold report that feel locked out of the hope of home ownership, such a model could work to get renters on the property ladder. Renters already struggling with the high cost of living and can often barely afford to make ends meet, yet alone save for a deposit to buy their own home.

“Renters account for a significant proportion of households in Ireland now and yet remain among the most vulnerable. We also know that more people are becoming homeless from the private rental sector. The ban on evictions introduced during the pandemic should be reintroduced to help renters who are really struggling with the changes in the economy. Rents continue to soar, the price of groceries are increasing and yet wages have remained the same.

“Government has simply failed to get a handle on the rental crisis in particular. A huge difference can be made quickly for renters through the implementation of Labour’s Renters’ Rights Bill. A key tenant to this bill is tightening the grounds for eviction, which would provide the security respondents to the Threshold survey are crying out for.

“Similarly, it would introduce a rent register to provide transparency in the rental market. With fewer and fewer properties even available to rent, there’s a clear power imbalance between landlords and renters. By enabling prospective tenants to see what the previous tenant was charged, we can introduce more fairness into the market.

“A key component of this Bill is strengthening renters’ security of tenure. Right now, the thresholds for evicting a good, hard working and loyal tenant is very low. People are often forced to uproot their whole lives at short notice without any good reason.

“Our Bill would remove so called ‘no fault’ evictions as well as removing the grounds which allows a landlord to end a tenancy on the basis that they intend to sell the property within three months. It would change the rules so that a landlord can only evict renters for renovations where “no reasonable measures can be taken to maintain the dwelling fit for human habitation”. Basically, as a last resort. It also deals with landlords evicting renters to move in their own family member – it would restrict this to just spouses, civil partners or children.

“As the Threshold report shows, affordability and security of tenure must be dealt with by this government. There are no excuses. Labour has produced the legislation that would help renters feel more secure and more at home in Ireland. It’s time for the government to act.”

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