Renters deserve affordability and security of tenure

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
14 October 2022

Responding to comments made by the Chair of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said security of tenure should not just be available for renters who can pay the most.

Outlining provisions of Labour’s Renters’ Rights Bill that would restrict the grounds on which a person could be evicted from their home, as well as a transparency register to access information on previous rents paid for a property, Senator Moynihan said affordability of rents remains a huge market issue.

Senator Moynihan said:

“For the RTB to suggest that some landlords, namely investment funds, are better than others, is perverse. If renters had decent rights in the first place, it would level the playing field.

“We totally lag behind other countries on renters rights. Renters are expected to put up with extortionate rents, evictions at the drop of the hat and many can’t make the place feel like a home.

“As a nation we need to change how we think about renting. Yesterday’s report published by Threshold shows that one in five households are renting now, compared with one in 10 in the 1990s. In recognition of the changes in the market, Labour published a bill to increase renters’ rights. The balance of power in the rental market is heavily weighted towards landlords. They control price, security of tenure, whether or not you can have a pet, where you hang your washing, even the furnishings of your home.

“Affordable rents are just non-existent in this country and so many renters are running to stand still. Renters are crippled because there is not enough rental accommodation to deal with the demand, meanwhile, Government is still falling behind on all targets set out in Housing for All, including cost-rental homes.

“We all know that investment fund landlords are arm’s length landlords. We in Labour believe that all landlords should provide all renters greater security of tenure. The security of keeping a roof over your head simply can’t be linked to your ability to pay above and beyond the odds.”

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