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Sinn Féin launch proposals to radically reform the private rented sector – Ó Broin

6 December, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has launched a series of proposals aimed at radically reforming the private rented sector, which focuses on making three changes to the Residential Tenancies Act in order to provide tenants with greater security of tenure and increasing the supply of good quality homes for the private rented sector. 

Speaking after the launch, Deputy Ó Broin said: 

“The private rented sector in this state is in urgent need of reform. We need a rental sector that provides high quality accommodation, provides tenants with security of tenure and that treats landlords in a fair manner in all aspects of regulation and taxation.

“The policy document we are launching today contains 19 different recommendations and tackles the rental sector crisis from the perspective of security, supply, and standards and services. Providing both landlords and tenants with security in terms of rent is vital. Sinn Féin is a firm advocate for linking rent reviews to an index, such as the CPI, to guarantee rent certainty for landlords and tenants.

“We propose making three changes to the Residential Tenancies Act in order to provide tenants with greater security of tenure, including making tenancies of indefinite duration the norm. In advance of Budget 2018 we also recommend that a review be undertaken of the tax treatment of residential landlords.

“The supply of good quality homes for the private rented sector must be increased. Sinn Féin recommends an end to the policy of placing up to 100,000 social housing tenancies permanently in the private rented sector subsidised by HAP and RAS. These tenants need social housing and the government must be more ambitious in its social housing construction and acquisition targets in order to accommodate more social housing tenants. We also recommend rolling out an ambitious cost rental scheme led by local authorities and associated housing bodies and developing a more ambitious programme for bringing a larger number of vacant private housing stock into use. 

“Due to the rising cost of rents Tenants in the private rented sector often find themselves compromising on the quality of the accommodation in favour of affordability. Increased resources must be provided to local authorities so they can complete a greater number of inspections and a single framework criteria for the inspections must be developed. The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) must be better funded in order to reduce the amount of time it takes to resolve disputes and a deposit retention scheme should be located within the RTB.

“Minister Simon Coveney has a unique opportunity to design a strategy that will for the first time in the history of the state put the private rented sector on the right track. The rental sector in this state is broken and any strategy that is introduced must be based on a radical change of policy direction and must not be beholden to building industry interests. A properly regulated and functioning rental sector balances the interests of tenants, landlords and investors and provides stable, secure and affordable accommodation.” 

Note: Please see attached the document in question 

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