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Plan to use tenants deposits for water charges will worsen housing crisis - Ellis

7 May, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has condemned government plans to make landlords withhold deposits from tenants if they do not pay the water charges. He said this move would cause a range of issues in the already unstable private market and increase the number of people requiring emergency accommodation.

Elis continued;

“The illegal withholding of tenants deposits is already a major issue which requires attention. Tenants who cannot access their deposits, on moving, experience severe hardship finding alternative accommodation as well as deprivation due to the loss of crucial funds. Withholding deposits has led to some people going homeless and needing emergency accommodation.

“The government must row back on this proposal. We need a deposit retentions scheme to end the withholding of deposits, the government promised such a scheme but have failed to deliver, now they say they may go even further by encouraging the withholding of deposits.

“The response by the Residential Landlords Association is extremely disappointing also but I understand they have no desire to act as charge collectors for Irish Water. Their claim that they would have to triple deposits would further throw their market into crisis and would lead to worsening conditions for renters as well as more people requiring emergency accommodation. It would make finding places for rent supplement recipients impossible.

“The government have been shown clearly that the people reject Irish Water and water charges. They must stop these plans and at the least ensure that tenant’s deposits are not in danger. They must now legislate strongly to protect deposits from being illegally withheld and to limit the amount that can be demanded of tenants.”

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