Residential Tenancies (Residential Tenancies Board) (Amendment) Bill 2018: First Stage

Glaoim ar an Teachta Cowen chun an mBille um Thionóntachtaí Cónaithe (An Bord um Thionóntachtaí Cónaithe) (Leasú), 2018 a chur os comhair na Dála ar an gCéad Chéim.

I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to give the Residential Tenancies Board investigative powers and to provide for related matters.

I hope the Government will not stand in the way of this legislation which will improve the powers available to the Residential Tenancies Board in the growing rental market. More than 325,000 properties are leased in private accommodation and housing assistance payments are made in respect of 32,000 of these units. The absence of necessary regulation in this area has resulted in compromises being made in respect of health and safety, overcrowding and the way in which tenants are treated. For this reason, we have introduced the Bill to improve the powers of the Residential Tenancies Board to allow it to initiate investigations and, where necessary, pass the results of same on to the relevant authorities. This is in addition to other measures the Fianna Fáil Party is seeking to introduce to give local authorities the power to implement a system for certifying properties for rental purposes similar to the national car test. In the meantime, it is necessary and appropriate to make this amendment to resource the Residential Tenancies Board and improve its powers and ability to ensure tenants' rights are not compromised in any shape or form. There has been an unwillingness to address this matter in the way in which one would expect. I ask the Government to allow the Bill to proceed to the next Stage in order that the relevant committee will have an opportunity to make the improvements proposed and enhance the position of everyone concerned.

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.