Christmas and New Year Terror Looms for Thousands of Renters

December 15, 2016

“Today has been a political pantomime that will leave many people in danger and that is not acceptable”

The Social Democrats have reacted with dismay to this morning’s announcement that the Planning & Development (Housing) And Residential Bill will not be debated this side of Christmas despite Minister Coveney’s announcement during the week of a proposed new rental strategy which the Bill would give effect to. Now any tenants facing a rent review in the coming weeks can be subjected to sharp rises at the Landlord’s discretion.

The Government decided at the last minute to pull the Bill from the schedule as they had not reached agreement with their supporting partner, Fianna Fáil.

Speaking this morning Róisín Shortall TD said:

This shambolic process has been a farce from the outset. We’re told we have a programme for a Partnership Government yet we have one partner launching a significant proposal without apparent agreement with the other partner and the rest of us, and the wider public, now have to sit by and watch as the warring couple put tens of thousands of people at risk of homelessness just to win a game of brinksmanship.”

“The published amendments have at least shown up the intentions of Government regarding their version of protection for renters. While there was a lot of Government talk about 4% limits, the reality is that their amendments actually allow for an 8% rise in one year where a tenant is coming from a lease where previous rent certainty measures were in place. During a Morning Ireland interview this morning Minister Coveney was repeatedly pressed for the evidence he claims support his 4% proposal but he could not provide it. He also tried to intimate that the rental market is almost solely made up of negative equity landlords when the reality is there are huge amounts of investment funds and vulture funds who cannot believe their luck in the current Irish rental market.”

The Social Democrats fundamentally believe that the 4% figure is too high and will become a target rather than a maximum, we have repeatedly set out a position which favours linking rent increases to CPI – a measure we support for all areas across the country. The Minister has introduced a new term – rent predictability- and appears to have forgotten the fact that we are in a housing crisis and rent affordability is the critical issue.

15th December 2016