210 made homeless since August as FG/LAB battle on rent certainty

  • Almost 50% of people registering have been forced out of the private rented market.

 The Leader of Fianna Fáil in Dublin City, Councillor Paul McAuliffe has hit out at Fine Gael and Labour for ‘dithering’ on rent reforms and rent certainty, while an additional 210 people have been made homeless since the start of August. “The government has been dithering on rent reforms for almost a year with the Minister for the Environment and other Ministers promising action since August. Since then 68 people in August, 70 in September and 72 in October have registered as homeless many as a direct result this government inaction.”

 A survey of families undertaken by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive has indicated that more than 50% of those registering have been forced out of the private rental market.

 “Whatever side of the argument you are on when it comes to rent certainty, the ‘will-they’ ‘wont-they’ approach to the issue is making people homeless. Landlords who expect a move are increasing rents now which pushing more families out and yet we still have a total lack of supply or investment in the market. The government needs to end the internal bickering and introduce rent reforms immediately.” said Cllr McAuliffe

“In August Fianna Fáil announced a series of measures to assist those in rented accommodation and those who would be renting in the long term. This 3 step strategy to address the rent crisis. consisted of strengthening tenants’ rights and rent affordability, improving the quality of accommodation and encouraging greater investment to boost supply. The lack of security is a major issue inhibiting the development of a strong reliable rental market in Ireland. Unlike the European norm, Irish leases are primarily short term one year leases. This generates great uncertainty for families and other long term renters, limiting the appeal of renting for those for whom home ownership is not a preferred option.” said McAuliffe

 “In particular families with children require stability and certainty rather than the current situation where tenancy can be brought to an abrupt end. If you have children enrolled in a local school, it can be almost impossible in the current market to keep them in that school if you face eviction.

 “Fianna Fáil will replace the 4 year tenancy cycle with a move towards indefinite leases which will enhance security of tenure. Indefinite leases would be voluntary for landlords and tenants to engage in to their mutual benefit. To encourage landlords to participate in the scheme, a tax incentive allowing full mortgage interest relief against rental income will be put in place but only for those landlords who engage in family and long term leases.”

“The notice to quit criteria will be tightened up by Fianna Fáil. Currently the broad range of allowable reasons that can be given for removing renters weakens tenants’ rights and reduces their stability. Notices to quit that are contested by tenants will be subjected to review by a reformed PRTB. Landlords will have to provide proof of intention to sell. Additionally, expanding the notice to quit duration to 6 months for leases beyond 3 years will strengthen stability. Tenants notice to quit will also be extended to two months for leases beyond one year in order to improve stability for landlords.”

 Cllr McAuliffe’s proposal is fully costed. The full restoration of mortgage interest relief against rental income would cost €95m. Based on the DKM rental survey some 65% of tenants renting for over 4 years there is potential for up to 65% take up of long term tenures. Total cost to the exchequer of incentivising indefinite would be €62m.

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