Social Democrats welcome cross-party support for renters’ rights Bill

January 23, 2018

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD today introduces to the Dáil a Bill to give renters a minimum of 90 days’ notice to quit a property and to give incoming tenants access to the amount of rent paid by their predecessors.

The party welcomes the backing of opposition parties Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour and the Green Party for its Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill 2018.

The Bill also has the support of national housing charities Focus Ireland, Threshold and the Simon Communities.

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill 2018 introduces a new minimum notice period of 90 days for all tenancies of less than one year. Tenancies of between one year and five years would require 120 days’ notice under the Bill.

Current law requires landlords to give tenants between 28 and 35 days’ notice for those in the first year of their tenancy, with 56 days’ notice for those in tenancies for two to three years.

Speaking ahead of the introduction of the Bill in the Dáil this evening, Deputy Shortall said:

“The acute shortages of properties to rent in our cities in particular makes it almost impossible for tenants or the homeless services that support them to find alternative places to live within the current notice periods. By extending the minimum notice period to 90 days, this Bill seeks to give renters some much needed breathing space.

“One in five people are now renting and the longer notice periods in this Bill help bring Ireland in line with other European countries, including France, Germany and Sweden, where typically renters get a minimum of three months’ notice to quit.”

Deputy Shortall said the Bill also significantly strengthens renters’ rights in relation to how existing rent caps are applied in the country’s 21 designated Rent Pressure Zones. She added:

“Rents are rising across the country, despite the fact that under existing laws increases are supposed to be capped at 4% in RPZ areas. Cork rents rose by 11% in the past year and Dublin rents rose by 10%.

“At the moment, tenants are helpless in the face of illegal rent hikes because there is simply no way for someone taking on a new lease to know for sure how much their predecessor was paying. This Bill gives incoming tenants a right to find out from the Residential Tenancies Board exactly how much rent was paid under the previous tenancy before theirs began. This puts tenants in a position to know that they are not being overcharged.”

ENDS

23 January 2017