Yesterday, 20th of September '22, the Joint Oireachtas Housing Committee held a meeting on 'Trends in the Private Rental Sector' and invited representatives from Threshold, Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, Irish Property Owners' Association, and University College Dublin
As the witnesses have mentioned, the overarching issue underpinning rental inflation and instability is the chronic shortage of housing supply - A landlord's market where demand outstrips supply.
As I understand, housing delivery is picking up, including social and affordable housing, which should stabilise house prices and therefore stabilise rents going forward. Cost rental is key to this, where the state is stepping in to provide rental property at affordable rents. The model provides affordable, high quality, warm and secure rental accommodation, freeing up more homes to the market.
However in the short term, as mentioned by Threshold, we need targeted measures. I welcome their proposals, specifically the tax rebate, which I have personally pushed for as part of Budget 23, just last week in questions to the Taoiseach and in my budget submission through the party.
I’d like to ask about the issue regarding evictions, namely sale as a reason to evict, which as cited by Dr. Byrne is responsible for 70% of family homelessness. I’ve personally pushed to remove this as a ground to end a tenancy by allowing tenants to stay in situ when a house is sold. This unfortunately wasn’t accepted by the government. I also proposed a measure which alerts local authorities of evictions to ensure they’re given enough time to assist families at risk of homelessness and entering emergency accommodation.
Notice periods have increased significantly, the minimum notice is now 90 days and can reach up to 224 days. This gives tenants a significant amount of time to find alternative accommodation, when they can find it.