There is a need for a cultural shift to “skew away” from viewing rental properties as investments and income for landlords, the Dáil has been told.
Labour’s Ivana Bacik said the Government’s housing policies need to treat rental properties as people’s homes.
She made the comments as she introduced the Tenants’ Rights Bill as a private member’s Bill to the Dail on Wednesday.
The Bill seeks to strengthen tenants’ rights and provide security of tenure against eviction, a rent freeze and declare the state a rent pressure zone.
With this legislation we want to address the power imbalance between landlords and tenants
— The Labour Party (@labour) September 22, 2021
The Bill, drafted with Labour senator Rebecca Moynihan, is Ms Bacik’s first piece of legislation as a TD.
Ms Bacik told the Dáil: “This Bill is about addressing the existing power imbalance between landlords and renters who want to address years of housing policy which has favoured the landlord and emphasised rented properties as investments rather than homes.
“We want to tackle that head on with this important piece of legislation.”
She said renters face issues with security of tenure, fear of evictions, unaffordable rents, high deposits and increase in rents.
“We wish to strengthen protection against evictions for those who are renting and the legislation would remove the so-called no-fault evictions and provide tenancy of indefinite duration,” Ms Bacik said.
“It would remove the ground which allows the landlord to terminate tenancy on the basis that they intend to sell the property in three months and put curbs on evictions for the purposes of refurbishment or for passing the properties on to family members.”