Fianna Fáil Dublin City Councillor, Jim O’Callaghan, has called for the introduction of new Landlord and Tenant Laws to bring them in line with other European States. During the debate on the Homelessness Plan at the Dublin City Council meeting last night O’Callaghan raised the issue and said that one of the biggest causes of homelessness was rent increases that are unsustainable for tenants.
“Tenants across Dublin have a limited knowledge of their rights under Irish Law but even when they are aware of their rights the most they can hope to achieve is to delay a landlord who wants to increase rent to what is viewed as a market rent. Because the market in Dublin is now dysfunctional, many tenants face eviction once Landlords comply with their limited statutory obligations,” said O’Callaghan.
O’Callaghan recommended that in order for there to be a proper long term solution to the Homelessness crisis in Dublin the law on Tenants’ rights needs to be changed.
“In Belgium rent increases above the rate of inflation cannot be written into a lease. Belgian Law also provides that in written leases rent will automatically be adapted once a year in accordance with the cost of living. In the Netherlands a landlord may increase the rent once a year but the government sets the maximum rate of increase. These laws provide security to tenants but also make the property market more stable with long term investors, who are not looking for rapid rent increases, becoming landlords. These moderate laws in economically stable countries should be followed in Ireland. They would improve the protection for Tenants and would also have a benefit in establishing a more stable and functioning rental sector,” said O’Callaghan.