Changes to FF Renters Bill weak and watery – will not protect renters
22 October 2020
Spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage
The changes to the Fianna Fáil Residential Tenancies Bill being brought through the Oireachtas at the moment do not go far enough and will not protect renters according to Labour Housing Spokesperson, Senator Rebecca Moynihan.
The Labour Party are proposing an amendments to the Bill in the Seanad.
Senator Moynihan said:
“The moratorium on evictions should not be linked to the five-kilometre travel restrictions and should be extended to apply where there are any limits on travel and when people are advised to stay within their county as applied during Level 3 restrictions.
“The 7 week extension to the eviction ban isn’t long enough given the uncertain public health situation we face and given that we do not know the trajectory of this virus and could possibly be facing further restrictions after Christmas. That is why we have proposed that the Bill be extended until March to give those in the private rented sector certainty.
“We know the private rented sector is a contributor to family homelessness, the drop in the Department’s own homeless figures showing fewer in emergency accommodation and more exiting homelessness correlates this. We need to ensure families can stay in their homes for the duration of this pandemic. Landlords should not be evicting people from their homes during the worst public health crisis in a generation.
“If the Minister had accepted our amendment in July, there would be no need to rush through this emergency legislation. This bill is weak and watery and will not adequately protect renters. Minister O’Brien needs to decide whether he is on the side of struggling renters and public health or whether he will side with developers and landlords.