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Rent Deposit Protection Scheme should be implemented following Taoiseachs support

11 November 2017

Statement by Cllr Andrew Montague
Spokesperson on Community Affairs

Labour Community Affairs spokesperson, Cllr Andrew Montague has called on the Government to implement the long delayed rent deposit protection scheme and ensure that the law is changed so that landlords can only seek up to one months rent as a deposit. The law to allow for a protection scheme was passed in 2015, and two years on it is time for action, following the confirmation in the Dáil this week that the Taoiseach strongly supports such a proposal.

Cllr Montague said:

"After two years, the Government has failed to implement a tenancy deposit protection scheme which was passed into law in 2015, but I welcome the statement by the Taoiseach in the Dáil this week in response to questions from Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin that he strongly supports a deposit scheme.

"Just a few months ago the stated intention of the Government was to scrap the law rather than bring in the much needed scheme so the change of policy is welcome.

"In the meantime it has come to light that some landlords are now demanding more than one months rent as a deposit, and the law should be changed to stop this.

"Labour introduced this deposit protection scheme so it is disappointing that Fine Gael are dragging their feet on this much needed safety net that is common in many other countries.

"Over 1 in 5 of the complaints at the Residential Tenancies Board relate to landlords not returning their deposits. A protection scheme would free up this time for other more pressing cases related to rent and tenancy disputes.

"The 10 year anniversary of the UK's deposit protection scheme was at the beginning of June, but a decade on Ireland has still failed to act.

"I am disappointed that Fine Gael are refusing to help protect the most vulnerable tenants in our private rental market, standing by while over 20% of RTB time is wasted on disputes over deposits that could be eradicated with a tenant deposit scheme in Ireland.

"I hope that the Government will now move to quickly bring forward proposals on this matter, following the Taoiseach's expression of strong support at questions on promised legislation on Wednesday."