Social Democrats bill would strengthen tenants rights, says Whitmore

A bill published by the Social Democrats this week would significantly strengthen tenants rights and bring transparency into the rental market, according to Councillor Jennifer Whitmore.

The Social Democrats councillor from Greystones said “our bill aims to give more rights to people renting properties in two key areas – the first is to provide longer notice periods for tenants when landlords are ending a tenancy, to reduce the risk of homelessness. The second is to introduce a rent register.”

According to the Residential Tenancies Act 2015, landlords are required to give tenants 28 days notice of eviction when their tenancy is in existence for less than 6 months. This notice period then increases the longer a tenant has been renting in the property.

The Social Democrats have proposed a minimum 3-months notice period for tenants when their landlords are ending a tenancy, a notice period currently in place in France, Netherlands, Germany and Sweden.

The notification period to vacate is based on the length of the tenancy. In some instances, this can be as low as 28 days. And whilst many landlords will allow extra time for their tenants to source alternatives, in the context of the current housing crisis, it is important that tenants have longer than the statutory 28 days to find somewhere.”

Meanwhile, according to the Rental Price Report from Daft.ie, rents increased by 11.2% in the third quarter of this year, marking the 21st quarter in a row that rents have risen in Ireland, and that the average rent in County Wicklow was €1,236 – up 11.5%.

Whitmore continued “Our second proposal is to establish a Rent Register that would allow tenants to see what the previous tenant paid for the same accommodation. This transparency is particularly important for those in Rent Pressure Zones, where a landlord cannot increase the rent beyond the current 4 per cent. 

“We will introduce the bill next week, and we would hope to get the support of all other parties for this important piece of legislation.”

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