Threshold welcomes proposals to strengthen tenant rights in volatile housing market

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The national housing charity, Threshold has welcomed proposals, due to go before Government for consideration, that will help create more sustainable conditions for tenants living in the private rental sector.

Commenting on the outline of these proposals, the Chief Executive of Threshold, John Mark McCafferty said: “Rent transparency is a critical factor in informing perspective tenants of what they can realistically expect to pay for properties in their area.  It gives them some choice and guidance about where they should conduct their property search, based on affordability, and means that landlords have a barometer for rent price setting.    While the proposals being considered by Government won’t call out landlords who inflate the market, it is a step in the right direction.”

Threshold also welcomed proposals to give greater powers to the Residential Tenancies Board to prosecute landlords.  “Up to now the onus has been on the tenant to call non-compliant landlords to account.  Often, tenants who are in vulnerable situations – such as facing eviction – do not have the capacity to consider taking a case to the RTB.  Ultimately, resources need to be in place at the RTB to ensure effective application of this new power,” said Mr McCafferty.

Threshold also welcomed the extension in notice periods that are covered under the new proposals. “The extended notice periods reflect the fact that it takes longer, particularly in high pressure rental zones, to find alternative accommodation.  This extension provides tenants with more time to secure alternative accommodation, and may be an important measure in preventing people from slipping into insecure accommodation and homelessness.

“The new measures will require acceptance by landlords who have a duty to act responsibly and in a way which reflects market reality.  These measures are the norm in countries which offer a sustainable rental market, and should be accepted as measures to help build Ireland’s rental sector as a place that’s not just transitional for many, but as a home.”

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