Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1550)

Clare Daly

Question:

1550. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the provision made for older persons who are renting properties and whose tenancies are terminated following the transfer of the property to a vulture fund; and his plans to introduce safeguards for such persons such that they do not find themselves homeless in their retirement. [19096/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Government's Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan on Housing aims to ensure that older people have a range of housing choices available to them and there is an overall commitment to examine the potential of targeted schemes to meet differing housing needs.

A number of measures have been introduced in recent years with the objective of improving security of tenure for tenants. Security of tenure provisions under the Residential Tenancies Acts apply once a tenant has been in occupation of a dwelling for a continuous period of 6 months, with no valid notice of termination having been served during that time. Section 34 provides that a landlord must state a reason for the termination in any notice served, in accordance with the grounds for terminations set out in the table to that section.

The so-called ‘Tyrrelstown amendment', included in the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016, provides a proportionate and justifiable limit to the legal right of landlords to use the 'intention to sell' ground to terminate a tenancy. Where a landlord proposes to sell 10 or more units within a single development at the same time, that sale is subject to the existing tenants remaining in situ, other than in exceptional circumstances.

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment)(No. 2) Bill 2018 published last December aims to deliver on a number of commitments flowing from Rebuilding Ireland and commitments I made to provide the RTB with additional powers and resources to deliver enhanced protections to both tenants and landlords.

While extending the scope of the "Tyrrelstown amendment" is legally problematical and is therefore not provided for in the Bill, the Government has approved a range of amendments, including provisions to strengthen further the arrangements in relation to security of tenure for tenants and enforcement mechanisms under the Acts. These amendments were approved at Dáil Committee Stage of the Bill and I will be working to ensure that the Bill completes its passage through both Houses as quickly as possible, supporting the stability of the private rental sector in the interests of both tenants and landlords.