Cian O'Callaghan TD

Minor tweaks won’t cut it anymore – renters want real and substantial reform

Today’s cabinet decision to extend limited COVID-19 tenant protections will only provide assistance to a tiny minority of tenants, according to Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan.

“Today’s decision to extend the COVID-19 tenant protections will be cold comfort for the vast majority of renters who have been excluded. Unfortunately, the Government’s decision is more about show than substance. Only a few hundred renters will benefit out of tens of thousands

“When you look at the detail of the decision, it’s clear that the vast majority of renters have been left out. The complex rules only apply to those already in rent arrears who make a declaration that they cannot pay because of COVID-19. That is a minority of tenants.

“Most renters will still face serious insecurity. Many people live with the daily fear of a knock on the door from a landlord armed with an 8pc rent hike or notice of a tenancy termination.

“Minor tweaks won’t cut it anymore. Renters want real and substantial reform. We need a complete overhaul of rental rules. The Residential Tenancies Act is no longer fit for purpose. It needs to be rewritten to provide security and fairness for renters.

“Our rental laws should be moved in line with other EU countries. This means providing proper security of tenure, leases of indefinite duration and removing the no-fault eviction grounds. On top of that, run-away rents have to be stopped, deposits should be protected and there should be regular inspections of rental properties.

“The Government’s decision today shows once again that they are out of touch and don’t understand the serious issues faced by renters up and down the country.”

9 June, 2021


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