The Social Democrats today set out detailed proposals for a Renters’ Charter to protect tenants and make sure that the rental sector provides affordable and secure homes. The party said that a strong rental sector is a vital part of an overall housing strategy, particularly as one in five people are now renting.

Rents and the issues within the sector is a key issue in the General Election campaign according to the party and they say there is an entire generation of people who are increasingly ‘locked out’ of affordable housing to buy or rent and the increasing problem of those paying high rents being unable to afford to save for a deposit.

The Social Democrats’ Renters’ Charter includes the following measures:

  • A time-limited nationwide rent freeze and strengthened regulation in the sector
  • An end to preferential tax breaks for Cuckoo Funds.
  • Extra protections for tenants in buy-to-let properties
  • A deposit protection scheme to fix deposits at one month’s rent
  • A ban on rental bidding wars

Party co-leader Catherine Murphy said:

“There is an entire generation of people living with one foot on the street because they can’t afford the deposit to buy a house and can’t keep up with ever increasing rents. Even for the so-called ‘lucky ones’ who have secure jobs or well-heeled parents, they are facing into a future that is much less secure than that of their parents when it comes to finding a place to settle down and call home.

“The need for a temporary rent-freeze is inarguable – we are in an emergency situation and that requires emergency responses. Those in the private rental sector need to be afforded protections – both in terms of cost and length of tenancy. That is the only way to ensure that the private rental sector is a viable and sustainable housing option for those seeking homes instead of just temporary accommodations.”

Cllr. Carly Bailey, Dublin South West General Election candidate, added:

“As a renter myself I am acutely aware that both landlords and tenants have rights but also responsibilities in ensuring good attitudes and behaviour within the sector. Our Renter’s Charter offers protections for renters to help create a rental sector that provides security of tenure as well as affordability. Raising a family in rental accommodation can be a terrifying experience as you’re unsure of how long you will be there when looking at things like school places for example. Providing rent certainty and greater security of tenure means families can meaningfully put down roots in a community instead of constantly being transient.”

[ENDS] 4th Feb 2020

Notes: The SocDems Renters Charter is available here.

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