News & Media

Failure to freeze rents and secure tenancies in latest Govt proposals

9 June 2021

Statement by Senator Rebecca Moynihan
Spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage

Responding to the tenancy measures announced by the Minister for Housing today, Labour Housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said there were but that what’s proposed it will do very little to protect the vast majority of renters.

Senator Moynihan said:

“It sums up the failure of this government’s housing policy that this will be the fifth piece of legislation the current Minister is bringing forward to amend the law on rental tenancies in the space of less than a year yet under these proposals most renters could see their rent increase by 8% and the government don’t care. This patchwork effort is not helping renters, and shows the ongoing failure to address the core problems of soaring rents and lack of security in their tenancies.

“The move to limit the amount a landlord can demand from a new tenant is welcome and is in response to a campaign by the USI , but there shouldn’t be any loopholes that can be exploited. What this also highlights is that there is still no law to limit a deposit to one month’s rent and the ongoing failure to bring forward a rental deposit protection scheme.

“This latest bill won’t stop the 8% rent rises that a loophole in the law will allow. It will help a very small proportion of renters for a limited period of time. It will only apply to those whose incomes have been hit by Covid-19 but it is fine for landlords currently charging €2,000 for a house in Dublin to increase that by 8% next year.

“What Labour wants to see is a comprehensive approach to protecting renters, a short term rent freeze and a state led approach to building more affordable housing that would address the chronic supply issues and reduce prices in the private sector.

“We have called for a three year rent freeze, and stronger security of tenure to limit evictions. Rents in Ireland have significantly increased in recent years and no fault evictions are still allowed. Today’s measures amount to little more than window dressing on the issue of rent and renters will continue to pay astronomical rents because the government care more about protecting investors and not renters.”