News & Media

Evictions continued during pandemic – renters strategy needed

16 June 2021

Statement by Senator Rebecca Moynihan
Seanad Leader and spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage
  • Double rent increase loophole still open to landlords
  • Renters need a break

With figures from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) showing that more than 1,100 households that are renting were given eviction notices over the last 10 months despite a Government ban supposedly in place, Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has called for a comprehensive renters strategy.

Senator Moynihan said:

“Rents in Ireland have significantly increased in recent years and no fault evictions are still allowed. The figures from the RTB show that it’s back to business as usual for tenants being evicted. We need to have greater security of tenure. The figures show that 73% of people were evicted from their home in a pandemic through no fault of their own. That is unfair, inhumane, and points to a failing by Government to treat renters as equals in the housing system.

“This patchwork effort by Government is not helping renters, and shows the ongoing failure to address the core problems of soaring rents and lack of security in their tenancies.

“We know that limiting evictions has a direct impact on people entering homelessness.

“The Government’s latest bill to supposedly protect renters won’t stop the 8% rent rises that a loop hole in the law will allow. The system itself is inherently cumbersome and complex, with people self-selecting as being “financial impacted” rather than Government actually carrying out a thorough assessment of the state of play for renters.

“The numbers registering as being financially impacted are ridiculously low, 475, as this is a self-declaring process. The system itself is too cumbersome and doesn’t give protection to the vast majority of renters who have been impacted by the pandemic. This means that the vast majority of renters, approx. 200,000 people, are going to get an increase of 8%.

“In allowing an 8% increase for the vast majority of tenants, the Government shows what little regard they have for renters. This is an oversight on the Government. In areas like Dublin where people are paying on average €2,000 per month, this is going to work out at an increase of approx. €160 a month extra for renters. That's an extra €1,920 per year. That is simply unfeasible and unfair.

“The housing system is not working for renters. We need a comprehensive housing strategy for renters. Labour want to see an approach that protects renters through greater security of tenure, a short-term rent freeze and a State led approach to building more affordable housing that would address the chronic supply issues and reduce prices in the private sector."