Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1957)

Catherine Murphy


1957. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to introduce legislation that includes co-living arrangements; if so, the timeline for same; if it will mirror existing legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35559/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2019 regulate the landlord-tenant relationship in the private rented sector, including tenancies in co-living dwellings, and set out the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants. The Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2019 apply to every dwelling that is the subject of a tenancy, subject to a limited number of exceptions. The dwellings to which the Act does not apply are set out in section 3(2) of the Act and include, for example, a dwelling within which the landlord also resides.

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Act to operate a national tenancy registration system and to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. Where a dwelling is occupied by a person under a tenancy, arrangement or agreement to which the Act does not apply, such as instances where a bona fide licensing arrangement exists, the RTB does not have any function in relation to such agreements or arrangements.

If a dispute arises as to whether a purported licence in a co-living dwelling is in fact a tenancy, the RTB can determine the matter and if it is a tenancy, the Residential Tenancies Acts apply. Where the owner of a dwelling enters into an agreement with a person for the occupation of that dwelling, it is a private contractual matter between the parties as to whether that agreement is a licence or a tenancy.

Given the relatively new nature of this form of accommodation, my Department will monitor the emerging shared accommodation sector and is keeping all aspects under review.