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Labour have failed to protect tenants and tackle unfair rents - Ellis

11 May, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has called on the government to implement a suite of measures to help rental tenants as figures show rent rates continue to rise. He said that Labour in government had failed tenants completely and had only offered promises but deliver nothing. He made his comments following the release of figures by which showed rents had gone up once more by 8.2% in the first quarter of 2015.

Deputy Ellis continued;

"The number of rental properties available is at a low point not seen in almost 10 years. Demand for rental properties is very high and so rent rates have soared over the last 4 years under this government. No measures have been taken to stabilise rent rates and protect tenants, which has led to many ending up homeless and in emergency accommodation. We now spend at least 5 million a year on hotel rooms for people priced out of rental housing in Dublin. At present there are 1000 children in emergency accommodation.

“The government have refused to act on out of control rents and the people have suffered for this. Earlier this year, Minister Kelly proposed the ridiculous measure of giving tax breaks to landlords who would consider charging fair rents. He then made vague comments on Rent Certainty at the Labour Conference a few months ago but nothing has been done so far, despite this being an issue from the first day they took office.

“We need a system of fair rent regulation which would set maximum limits for rental by region and quality, limit increases between tenancies, and encourage longer term leases. We also need a binding code of conduct for receivers when it comes to buy-to-let mortgages in distress. These policies will stop the flow of tenants into homelessness by freezing or reducing rent rates and protecting tenancies.

“Coupled with a dedicated building campaign for local authority housing we can begin to help tenants, stabilise the rental market and tackle the rising tide of homelessness. 

“The government must stop focusing on how to spin their inaction. Their plan for just 1700 new council homes in 3 years is hopelessly in adequate whiles more than ten times that number require housing in Dublin alone."

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