01/23/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/23/2019 18:19
23 January, 2019 - by Eoin Ó Broin TDSinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has welcomed the new Residential Tenancies amendment Bill that is currently being debated at second stage in the Dáil.
The Bill introduces long awaited changes that will enhance tenant's rights and grants additional powers to the Residential Tenancies Board.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
'This Bill will provide tenants with greater rights and gives the RTB the power to conduct investigations in relation to breaches of the rent pressure zone (RPZs) legislation.
'We welcome the longer notice to quit periods for many tenants and the rolling over of Part 4 tenancies at the end of the six year period.
'Sinn Féin continues to believe that the RPZs do not provide tenants with adequate protection against spiralling rents.
'The rental crisis is now so bad that we urgently need a three year state wide rent freeze.
''However, while RPZs are in place we support any measure that ensures they will be fully enforced.
'Given that many tenants are unwilling to complain about rent review breaches giving the Residential tenancies Board the power to independently investigate and sanction landlords who break the law is a welcome step.
'There are a number of aspects of the new sanctions regime that need to be amended. The time periods included in the Bill are too long.
'More significantly the requirement for sanctions to be approved in the Circuit Court is a mistake. It will cost the RTB thousands of euro in legal fees to secure each sanction and add weeks if not months to the time a sanction case takes.
'Sinn Féin will push for the removal of this requirement as contained in Section 148Z(2).
'The RTB needs quick wins in a number of high profile cases to deter breaches of the RPZs and forcing it to get every sanction confirmed by the circuit court will not facilitate this.
'We will also push for the new RTB powers to apply to all tenancies, not just those in RPZs and for more offences to be included in the new investigation and sanctions regime.
'Breaches such as the unlawful termination of tenancies should be subject to stringent sanctions.'