What contingency plans are in place for renters when their landlord is selling up?
Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik said today that the figures published by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) outlining the number of notices to quit issued to renters in Q4 of 2022 serve to highlight the scale of the problem facing renters and the rental market.
Without any contingency plans in place to protect renters, Deputy Bacik said Government should restore the moratorium on no-fault evictions on a further temporary basis, until evidence shows that homelessness is decreasing.
Deputy Bacik said:
“By lifting the eviction ban, the government has effectively said to renters: shut up and put up. There is no clear contingency plan in place for the thousands of renters now at risk of eviction.
“Figures released by the RTB this afternoon confirm a sustained number of eviction notices being issued to renters in both Q3 and Q4 of last year. The government cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand. They have consistently missed the point on the rental crisis and now the eviction disaster. Their pig-headed attitude to keep going as normal for the duration of the eviction ban, rather than dealing with the systemic issues at the heart of the crisis, is now coming back to bite renters.
“In making belated and vague attempts to assuage the fears of vulnerable renters, the government have told us that the tenant-in-situ scheme will work to protect people. But it is very difficult to have any faith in this, given the failures and delays by local authorities thus far in operating the scheme.
“Responses to Parliamentary Questions put down by me show that even Government’s own panacea plan, offering tenants ‘first refusal’ when their landlord is selling up, still lacks workable detail. Even if the workings of the scheme are ironed out, the reality is, most renters simply don’t have the financial bandwidth both to pay their rent and save for a mortgage.
“Housing in Ireland is now in total disarray. There has been no contingency planning for people who have received notices to quit. NGOs, stakeholders, charities and Opposition politicians are unable to answer questions due to the complex and cumbersome process in place. Why was a ‘one stop shop’ to triage queries not put in place during the duration of the eviction ban?
“Having a safe and secure home enables individuals and families to live fulfilled lives. Renters have been utterly failed by this government. An eviction ban is not a silver bullet but a temporary extension to the pre-existing ban could have provided government with breathing space to build more social and affordable homes. Instead, we have seen disastrous inaction.”