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Tenants or Tenements?
One in seven people in Ireland are renting in the private rented sector.
Rent Pressure Zones now exist in 44 locations, with 21 of those designated this year. Legislation passed in June introduced a range of increased tenant protections, all of which were welcome. However, legislation passed in 2015 to introduce a deposit protection scheme under the remit of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) is yet to be commenced, notwithstanding the RTB reporting disputes relating to deposit retention consistently being one of the main areas of dispute between landlords and tenants.
The dearth of rent inspections, persistent discrimination against HAP households and recent reports of other questionable practices in the sector clearly indicate a need to provide more resources to support the implementation and enforcement of existing legislation to properly protect tenants. In addition, the policy shift towards co-living, with no tenancy protections for licencees, shows how removed this Government is from the needs of generations struggling to find a place to call home.
In allocating just €2m of additional funding to the RTB for investigating and sanctioning non-compliance with the Rent Pressure Zone measures, and no additional funding for rent inspections and sanctions under other landlord and tenant legislation, the Government has shown that they are not serious about protecting tenants.