Secure Rents and Tenancies Bill 2016: First Stage

I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to provide for rent certainty in the private rental market by linking changes in rent arising from a rent review to the Consumer Price Index and to provide for greater security of tenure by making Part 4 tenancies of indefinite duration and removing sale of property as grounds for terminating a tenancy.

Michael Davitt, Anna Parnell and others founded the Land League 140 years ago. Their aim was to mobilise landless tenants to improve their lot and two of their key demands were for fair rents and fixity of tenure. Renters continue to experience difficulties with these issues 140 years on. We know that 750,000 people across the State live in the private rented sector and that one in four households here in Dublin rents. A huge number of those families are dealing with short tenancies, easy evictions and the spiralling cost of rent which is causing huge financial hardship and, in growing numbers of cases, homelessness. The Secure Rents and Tenancies Bill, which I seek leave to introduce today, seeks to address the two issues of rent certainty and security of tenure. The introduction of the Bill coincides with the secure rents campaign being run currently by Uplift, the Communications Workers' Union, IMPACT, Mandate, SIPTU and Unite, as well as the Dublin Tenants Association. The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Deputy Simon Coveney, is going to publish his strategy for the rental sector in a number of weeks but with people listening carefully to what he has been saying, there is growing concern that the strategy will not contain some of the key policy interventions required to deal with these two crucial issues. On that basis, I seek leave to introduce the Bill and I note that Sinn Féin intends to use Private Members' time next week to debate and vote on the Bill.

Is the Bill opposed?

Question put and agreed to.

Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members' time.

I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

Question put and agreed to.