Rental Sector: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Eoin Ó Broin on Tuesday, 19 October 2021:
That Dáil Éireann:
notes that:
— average rents increased by 7 per cent in the last year according to the Q2 2021 Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) rent index report;
— in the RTB rent index report nine counties experienced average rent increases of more than 10 per cent and all counties experienced average rent increases of more than 4 per cent;
— the September Central Statistics Office (CSO) Consumer Price Index shows that the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices increased by 3.8 per cent in the last 12 months;
— the RTB rent review calculator currently shows rental inflation at 3.9 per cent;
— the August CSO Residential Property Price Register shows that house prices have increased by 10.9 per cent in the last year; and
— despite the spiralling cost of rents, Budget 2022 contained no specific measures to reduce the cost of private renting; and
agrees that the Government:
— should have increased direct capital investment in social and affordable housing in Budget 2022 to deliver 20,000 social and affordable homes including affordable cost rental homes next year;
— must introduce emergency measures to cut rents, such as a refundable tax credit to reduce rent by 8.3 per cent, putting one month’s rent back into renters’ pockets;
— must introduce an emergency three-year ban on rent increases for all existing and new tenancies in the private rental sector;
— must introduce a mandatory NCT-style certification for landlords to demonstrate compliance with minimum standards;
— must ensure that 25 per cent of all private rental tenancies are inspected annually by Local Authorities;
— must introduce real tenancies of indefinite duration by amending section 34 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to remove sale and use by family member as grounds for eviction;
— must ensure the RTB has adequate staff to police and enforce Government rent regulations; and
— must work with all higher educational institutions to ensure the delivery of affordable student accommodation.
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 accommodation for purchase or rent, including through continued significant capital investment;
— under Housing for All - a New Housing Plan for Ireland, the Government is providing an unprecedented level of capital investment in housing, a total of €20 billion until 2026;
— the Plan sets out the most ambitious programme of social and affordable housing delivery in the history of the State, with 90,000 social homes and 54,000 affordable homes to be provided by the end of 2030;
— the Government has already made significant changes in rent controls by restricting any rent increases in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ) from exceeding any Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices inflation, which the Government recognise has increased in the short-term;
— as previously indicated, the Minister intends to bring forward urgent rental legislation in the coming weeks to introduce a cap on rent increases in RPZs, subject to Government approval;
— as set out in the Programme for Government: Our Shared Future, the Government is committed to legislating for tenancies of indefinite duration, and, subject to the Government’s approval, the Minister will do so shortly, to provide further security of tenure for tenants;
— 2022 will see record capital investment in housing of some €4 billion, through the Exchequer, the Land Development Agency (LDA) and the Housing Finance Agency;
— in 2022, over 11,800 new social homes will be delivered, including 9,000 new build homes, as well as 4,100 new affordable homes, including 2,550 affordable purchase and 1,580 cost rental homes;
— the Government will support 14,800 new households to have their housing needs met under the Housing Assistance Payment and the Rental Accommodation Scheme, as well as supporting almost 82,000 existing tenancies under these schemes;
— for the rental sector, the Government has targeted the delivery of 18,000 Cost Rental homes by local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies and the LDA by 2030 in order to provide long-term sustainable rental, and over 1,580 Cost Rental homes will be delivered in 2022;
— since 2020, the Government has increased funding by 22 per cent, and staff capacity by 13 for the Residential Tenancies Board to help further protect tenants, it also has stronger enforcement powers;
— funding of €6 million in 2020 and €10 million in 2021, an increase of 66 per cent, was 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;
— since August 2019, student specific accommodation is covered by the protection of the tenancy legislation;
— in relation to rental deposits, legislation passed in July restricts the level of upfront payments required of tenants, including students, to a total value not exceeding two months’ rent;
— the Government will support technological universities to develop purpose-built student accommodation through access to appropriate financing, and
— the Government already introduced five pieces of rental legislation to protect tenants during the Covid-19 emergency.”
— (Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage)

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to amendment No. 1, in the name of the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, to the Sinn Féin motion regarding renters. On Tuesday, 19 October 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, 71; Níl, 56; Staon, 0.

  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • 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.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • 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.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.

Níl

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Clarke, Sorca.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Farrell, Mairéad.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Harkin, Marian.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Murphy, Verona.
  • 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.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Shanahan, Matt.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Ward, Mark.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Jack Chambers and Marc Ó Cathasaigh; Níl, Deputies Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and Eoin Ó Broin.
Deputy Holly Cairns did not vote in this division due to an agreed pairing arrangement with Minister Helen McEntee for the duration of the Minister’s maternity leave.
Amendment declared carried.
Deputy Holly Cairns did not vote in this division due to an agreed pairing arrangement with Minister Helen McEntee for the duration of the Minister’s maternity leave.
Question put: : "That the motion, as amended, be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 71; Níl, 56; Staon, 0.

  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • 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.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • 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.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.

Níl

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Bacik, Ivana.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Clarke, Sorca.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Farrell, Mairéad.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Harkin, Marian.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Murphy, Verona.
  • 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.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Shanahan, Matt.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Ward, Mark.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Jack Chambers and Marc Ó Cathasaigh; Níl, Deputies Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and Eoin Ó Broin.
Deputy Holly Cairns did not vote in this division due to an agreed pairing arrangement with Minister Helen McEntee for the duration of the Minister’s maternity leave.
Question declared carried.
Deputy Holly Cairns did not vote in this division due to an agreed pairing arrangement with Minister Helen McEntee for the duration of the Minister’s maternity leave.
The Dáil adjourned at 9.27 p.m. until 9 a.m. on Thursday, 21 October 2021.