Taoiseach must provide Renters with Greater Security
- Why is the balance of ‘undue hardship’ in favour of corporate landlords rather than families renting homes?
Questioning the Taoiseach in the Dáil today (Wednesday, 23rd November), Labour leader Ivana Bacik demanded answers from the Taoiseach on behalf of renters who are facing eviction.
In particular, she raised concerns that corporate landlords are using Section 35a of the Residential Tenancies Act to take away the homes of renters in threatened mass evictions in Rathmines and elsewhere.
Deputy Bacik said:
“Despite paying over €1,200 per month for one-bedroom flats in shared houses, families and individuals living in 20 homes on the Rathmines Road are facing the dark prospect of being evicted due to what amounts to a legal loophole being used by the landlord company to facilitate a mass eviction. Not too far away in Tathony House, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, more than 100 residents have similarly been served an eviction notice.
“Under questioning from me in the Dáil today, the Taoiseach said the Government would review the legal position in respect of these threatened mass evictions. I am demanding now that he provides clarity to these renters, many of whom I met when they attended Leinster House today looking for answers.
“The loophole used by the company in this instance specifies an exception to the ban on mass evictions, on the basis of a test of ’undue hardship’ to the landlord if a proposed sale of the property with vacant possession is not to take place.
“But this raises very important questions for us as legislators: Why is the balance of ‘undue hardship’ made in favour of a property company, rather than taking into consideration the ‘undue hardship’ that families and individuals will face if they are being evicted from their homes? Who determines ‘market value’ and loss to the corporate landlord; and how is this assessed?
“The Taoiseach must provide clarity and greater security to those renters faced with the real prospect of eviction, and also for all renters who could find themselves in a similar position once the winter eviction ban has been lifted.“