RTB report confirms clear need for urgent rental sector regulation - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to ‘urgently introduce stronger regulation of the rental sector to protect both tenants and landlords’ The call was made after the Residential Tenancies Board report confirmed a 160% increase in rent review disputes since the introduction of the Governments Rent Pressure Zones.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“The Residential Tenancies Board annual report launch today confirms what many of us have known for some time. The rental sector is growing. 28% of households now rent, with 325,000 tenancies and 175,000 landlords. Over 700,000 people now live in the private rental sector.
“More people are renting and doing so for longer periods of time. Unfortunately our rent regulations have not caught up with just this reality. The law is still based on the assumption that renting is a short term option for people while siting for private or social housing.
“While many people in the private rental sector are indeed waiting for a council house or to purchase their own home, the length of time they are spending as renters is much longer. Equally there are many people for whom renting is their preferred option.
“Despite this, security of tenure is still very weak, a fact confirmed that in 2016 almost a third of all tenancies were new, highlighting the level of churn within the rental market.
“There are also huge issues with rent certainty and affordability. Despite the introduction of Rent Pressure Zones for half of tenants across the state, a significant number of landlords appear to be to flauting the law.
"The RTB recorded a 160% increase in rent review disputes since the introduction of the new rules.
“There is clearly a need for greater security of tenure for renters and for real rent certainty linking rent reviews to an index such as the CPI. In the interim Rent Pressure Zones should be extended to all tenancies and the rules should be proactively policed and enforced by the RTB and Local Authorities.
“The Government needs to urgently introduce stronger regulation of the rental sector to protect both tenants and landlords
“The RTB report also shows a significant increase in the volume of work handled by the independent state body. However this has been matched by an increased efficiency in the timelines for dealing with requests and disputes.
"The Board should be commended for their work particularly as Government has been less than forthcoming in providing them with the resources to deal with their heavy caseload.”