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RTB ‘substantial refurbishment’ guidelines not worth the paper they’re written on – Ó Broin

23 November, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on the publication of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) guidelines on what consists of a substantial change in the nature of private rented accommodation.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Over the past number of months, Threshold, Sinn Féin, and others have been raising concerns regarding some landlords claiming substantial refurbishment of a property in order to issue a notice to quit to tenants and escape the rent pressure zone 4% cap when re-letting the property.

“The RTB guidelines are not worth the paper they’re printed on.  There is simply no justification for landlords who undertake substantial refurbishment from being exempt from the rent pressure zone cap. They can already write these costs off against their tax liability.

“There is also no point in having unenforceable guidelines from the RTB.  What is needed are statutory guidelines on what constitutes substantial renovations and strong  legal protections for tenants who must vacate a property when substantial change is being made to ensure they have first refusal to return at a rent no greater than the 4% cap.

“I am also concerned that the onus for policing these new guidelines will rest with the tenant. This is not acceptable or fair on tenants, especially more vulnerable tenants.

“Minister Murphy is abdicating on his responsibility to protect tenants’ rights. He must amend the legislation to close this loophole or tenants will continue to face dubious notices to quit.”

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