Skip to main content
Normal View

Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 1 May 1980

Vol. 320 No. 3

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Rent Restriction Legislation.


asked the Minister for Justice if he has any proposals for legislation that would allay the widespread confusion and reassure persons affected by the High Court decision on rent restriction and security of tenure and if he will make a statement on the matter.


andMr. Quinn asked the Minister for Justice if he will introduce legislation to improve the degree of protection from eviction or rent increases enjoyed by tenants of private rented accommodation.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 30 together.

In so far as the second of these questions relates to the protection of the occupiers of rented accommodation other than those to whom the relevant legislation has applied down the years, the position is as the Minister indicated in reply to a Dáil question on 13 November last. On that occasion he said that the Minister for the Environment expected shortly to be in a position to make a submission to the Government in regard to the várious issues arising in relation to private rented accommodation including the working of the Rent Restrictions Acts, 1960 and 1967. I am not in a position to add anything to that statement at this stage and it may be that any further statement in that regard will be made by the Minister for the Environment rather than by me.

In so far as the second question relates to accommodation which has been the subject of statutory control, it covers the same ground as the question asked by Deputy O'Brien. The position in this regard is, as Deputies are aware, that the High Court recently decided that certain provisions of the Rent Restrictions Acts are unconstitutional. I understand that the question of an appeal to the Supreme Court is under consideration. In the circumstances, I cannot make any further statement in the matter except to say that Deputies will no doubt appreciate that, when the question of the constitutionality of an Act of the Oireachtas is involved in this way, it would clearly be inappropriate to discuss the question of amending legislation until such time as a final judgment—be that a High Court judgment or a Supreme Court judgment on appeal—has become available and has been fully considered.

Has the Minister any contingency plans to allay the fears of many people who can be affected by this decision? It is important that the Minister should say something about this.

As I stated in my reply, the position is that it is on appeal to the Supreme Court. As I am sure the Deputy is aware, it would be most inappropriate for me to comment in the light of those circumstances.

It would be unwise to discuss any matter which is on appeal or before the courts.

Is it on appeal? There is a proposal to appeal it. I do not know whether it is on appeal. I put down this question because serious concern is being voiced by a number of people, and particularly elderly people. I would have thought the Minister might have said he had contingency plans in the event of certain things happening. I am rather surprised that we are hiding behind the old sub judice situation.

No question was asked. Question No. 31.