Sinn Féin published bill to tackle advertisements of unfit rental properties – Senator Fintan Warfield
Sinn Féin Seanad spokesperson for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Senator Fintan Warfield has today published the Property Services (Advertisement of Unfit Lettings) (Amendment) Bill 2019.
The bill seeks to curb the online advertising of unfit rental properties that do not meet legal rental standards, including overcrowding or fire safety regulations.
The Bill allows people to report advertisements of unfit rental properties to the Property Services Regulatory Authority.
"It also gives the Authority the power to instruct letting agents and online platforms to remove advertisements of rental properties, that they consider in breach of regulation.
Senator Warfield said:
“It has become a constant story in traditional and social media outlets when rental properties, posted on the likes of daft.ie, rent.ie or spotahome.com, in no way meet regulations already in place that ensure rental properties are fit for purpose.
"These rental advertisements range from overcrowded dorm rooms, to apartments that are no more than converted hallways or sheds.
“It is astonishing that even after media attention has been brought to these lettings, the advertisement remains online - despite being in clear breach of regulations.
“These advertisements only remain due to the rental crisis ongoing in our cities and towns. Despite media attention, advertisers are aware that such lettings may still be rented due to people’s desperation and the extent of the housing crisis.
“Letting agents and online platforms have a role to play in ensuring that our rental market is not undermined; that standards are upheld; and that renters can interact with the rental market with dignity and respect.
“Websites should not be providing space for the advertisement of rental properties that are in clear breach of regulations."