Private Rental Sector: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Eoin Ó Broin on Wednesday, 5 May 2021:
That Dáil Éireann:
notes that:
— the rental crisis continues to spiral out of control;
— rents across the State have increased by 2.5 per cent in the last 12 months;
— rents in the commuter belt counties increased by 5 per cent during the same period;
— rents in Leitrim, Longford, Carlow, Kildare and Limerick have increased by 11 per cent, 9 per cent, 8 per cent, 6 per cent and 6 per cent respectively during the same period;
— the average rent across the State is now €1,256 per month;
— the average rent in Dublin is now €1,745 per month;
— in many parts of Dublin, asking rents are more than €2,000 per month;
— high rents are making it more difficult for first-time buyers, and those who lost their homes, due to recession era repossession or relationship breakdown, to buy their own home;
— high rental yields are incentivising investors to focus on the high-end, Build to Rent market, reducing the output of new homes to rent or buy at affordable prices;
— excessive tax breaks for real estate investment vehicles are having a distorting effect on land values, residential development costs and, in turn, rent levels;
— renters are at an increased risk of eviction and homelessness due to Covid-19 protections being removed by the Government;
— since August 2020, there have been 2,401 rent warnings issued by landlords, 715 Notices to Quit issued, and just 407 written declarations from Covid-19 impacted renters;
— the failure of the Government to regulate rents or invest in affordable Cost Rental is 835 also pushing up rents;
— just €35 million was allocated for affordable Cost Rental homes in 2021;
— a maximum 440 affordable Cost Rental homes will be delivered in 2021;
— the Government has no plan to deliver affordable Cost Rental homes on the scale recommended by the Housing Agency, the National Economic and Social Council or the Economic and Social Research Institute;
— the Rent Pressure Zone legislation expires at the end of 2021; and
— the Government has no plan to reduce rents, protect renters from further rent hikes or end the crisis in the private rental sector; and
calls on the Government to:
— introduce an emergency three-year ban on rent increases in the private rental sector;
— make provision in Budget 2022 for a refundable tax credit for private rental tenants, to put a month’s rent back in every renter’s pocket;
— make provision in Budget 2022 to commence the delivery of at least 4,000 affordable Cost Rental homes in 2022;
— amend the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, as amended, including section 34, to provide for real tenancies of indefinite duration;
— introduce a NCT-style certification for all rental properties to ensure compliance with minimum standards;
— resource local authorities to ensure an inspection rate of 25 per cent of rental tenancies within their administrative area each year; and
— make Residential Tenancies Board determinations legally enforceable, without the need for court action, by amending the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, as amended.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:
“notes that:
— the Government is fully committed to tackling high rents and ensuring an increase in the supply of affordable high quality rental accommodation through continued significant capital investment, including Cost Rental and other means and in a manner that respects the security of tenure for renters by ensuring equity and fairness for landlords and tenants;
— the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004 to 2021 relating to Rent Pressure Zones are due to expire at the end of December, and the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage will bring forward comprehensive new protections for tenants, balanced with constitutional property rights in the coming months;
— the Government is committed to improving the security of tenure for tenants through legislating for tenancies of indefinite duration, subject to legal advices;
— the new Affordable Housing Bill 2020, sets out the legislative basis for Cost Rental for the first time in the history of the State;
— the first Cost Rental units will be delivered this year and significantly expanded by the Government over the coming years;
— the Government has increased funding and capacity for the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to help further protect tenants, and the significant ongoing sustained funding provided to local authorities to inspect rental properties and the strong legislative framework under which they currently operate has made a positive contribution to supporting the ongoing improvement of standards and to ensuring the availability of an increasingly high quality stock of rental accommodation in Ireland;
— as per the commitment in the Programme for Government: Our Shared Future, the new whole-of-Government plan for housing ‘Housing for All’, that the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage intends to publish later this year, will ensure that the provision of an adequate supply of high quality affordable rental accommodation remains a cornerstone of the Government’s policy under the plan;
— the Government has provided, and will continue to provide, enhanced income supports and protections for tenants, particularly the most vulnerable tenants, that are necessary during this pandemic; and
— the Government keeps the operation of the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004 to 2021 under constant review and will make any necessary enhancement to the legal enforceability of RTB determination orders, in consultation with the RTB.
-(Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage)

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to the motion regarding the private rental sector. On Wednesday, 5 May 2021, on the question that the amendment to the motion be agreed to, a division was claimed and in accordance with Standing Order 80(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 78; Níl, 61; Staon, 0.

  • Berry, Cathal.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Varadkar, Leo.

Níl

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Farrell, Mairéad.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Murphy, Verona.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nash, Ged.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Donoghue, Richard.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.
  • Wynne, Violet-Anne.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Brendan Griffin and Jack Chambers; Níl, Deputies Denise Mitchell and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.
Amendment declared carried.
Question put: "That the motion, as amended, be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 77; Níl, 62; Staon, 0.

  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Varadkar, Leo.

Níl

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Berry, Cathal.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Farrell, Mairéad.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Murphy, Verona.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nash, Ged.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.
  • Wynne, Violet-Anne.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Brendan Griffin and Jack Chambers; Níl, Deputies Denise Mitchell and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.
Question declared carried.