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08/12/2021

New Rental Legislation 'Not As Reformative As Minister Claims' - SF

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New rental legislation introduced by Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien has been met with some skepticism.

Sinn Féin representative Eoin Ó Broin criticised the legislation for "not being as reformative" as the Minister claims. He also went on to describe this as a missed opportunity to provide renters with real protections.

Teachta Ó Broin said: "He claims that he is limiting rent increases in rent pressure zones (RPZs) to 2% or to inflation, whichever is the lower. The reality is that this is not the case.

"Firstly, a 2% cap within the current RPZ system is meaningless as research by both the Residential Tenancies Board and Daft.ie show that rent increases have consistently breached previous caps.

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"Secondly, this Bill allows for cumulative percentage rent increases; a clause which the Minister himself removed from renters' legislation last year. He is now inserting this back in.

"Minister O'Brien is also being extremely disingenuous when claims that this Bill introduces tenancies of unlimited duration. The Part 4 issue he is addressing only accounts for 3% of notices to quit issued over the past couple of years.

"If the Minister was serious about offering real tenancies of indefinite duration, he would remove all the clauses in the Bill that allow for eviction; including sale of property and use by landlord or a family member.

"Sinn Féin has amendments to the legislation that do just that which will be debated later this afternoon. While Sinn Féin will not be opposing this Bill, nobody should be under any doubt of the Bill's fundamental flaws.

"If we were in government, we would also introduce a three-year ban on rent increases and a refundable tax credit for renters. Plus, we would deliver 4,000 affordable cost rental homes per year."

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