Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Questions (57, 66)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

57. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the way in which tenants will be protected in co-living units if they are not to be given tenancy agreements; if he plans to update the regulations for co-living units to ensure that tenants have rights and protections under housing and tenancy legislation; his views on whether all tenants in the private rental sector should have rights and protections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36519/19]

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Mick Barry

Question:

66. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will legislate to ensure that those in co-living accommodation will have tenants’ rights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37711/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 57 and 66 together.

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.

Question No. 58 answered with Question No. 38.