Tenants must be protected in repossession cases – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has called on the government ‘to protect tenants’ in the event of any increase of repossessions of buy-to-let properties. The call comes as fears grow that the Land and Conveyancing Bill will lead to a significant number of repossessions of buy-to-let properties that could lead to an increase in homelessness.
Deputy Doherty said:
“During the boom, banks issued over 150,000 buy-to-let mortgages. Today more than 30,000 of these are in serious difficulty.
“Government policy is focused on making it easier for banks to see repossession of these properties. The Land and Conveyancing Bill, currently before the Dáil, is designed to make such repossessions easier.
“Clearly many landlords can no longer sustain these properties. However the rights of the tenants living in these houses must not be forgotten.
“The Government has a responsibility to protect the rights of tenants irrespective of who owns the property.
“Already we are seeing receivers being appointed by banks and demanding rent from tenants without automatically accepting the responsibilities of a landlord, such as property maintenance and returning deposits. There is clearly a need for a statutory code of conduct for receivers appointed in such circumstances in order to ensure that tenancy agreements and tenants rights are upheld.
“In the case of repossession orders there is also a need to protect tenants and tenancy agreements. Sinn Féin will be tabling amendments to the Land and Conveyancing Bill to ensure that when a buy-to-let property is repossessed the existing tenancy agreement is honoured.”