Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Ceisteanna (46)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

46. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will intervene in the latest eviction attempt of eight tenants at a location (details supplied) by the property owner in view of the fact this is the third attempt by the owners to mass evict these tenants over the past two years utilising different loopholes in the residential tenancies legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37391/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2019, with one of its key functions being to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. Due to the quasi-judicial and independent role of the RTB, it would be inappropriate for me, as Minister, to intervene in specific disputes.

A number of measures have been introduced in recent years with the objective of improving security of tenure for tenants under the Residential Tenancies Acts. Section 34 of the 2004 Act provides that a landlord must state a reason for the termination in any notice served, in accordance with the allowable grounds for terminations. Through an amendment introduced in 2016, 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. In addition, the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 provides that where a landlord terminates a tenancy because he/she intends to sell the property, he/she must enter into a contract for sale within 9 months of the termination date and, if not, must offer to re-let to a former tenant who provides their contact details.

The 2019 Act also provides that where a landlord terminates a tenancy because he/she needs vacant possession to substantially refurbish/renovate the property, that property must be offered back to the former tenant who provides their contact details, upon completion of the works. Also, such a termination notice must contain or be accompanied by a written certificate of a registered professional under the Building Control Act 2007, such as an architect or surveyor, stating that the proposed substantial refurbishment/renovation works would pose a health and safety risk necessitating vacation by the tenants and that such a risk would be likely to exist for at least 3 weeks.

The 2019 Act provides additional powers for the RTB to investigate and sanction landlords who engage in improper conduct, including non-compliance with the tenancy termination provisions. My Department will continue to keep the effectiveness and enforcement of the security of tenure provisions in the Acts under review.