Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has called on Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to speedily implement the recommendations from the Residential Tenancies Board on illegal evictions. The call was made after social media reports of an illegal eviction in Waterford over the weekend.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“Over the weekend social media reports from CATU, the tenants rights campaign group, highlighted an illegal eviction in Waterford. The social media posts showed distressing scenes of tenants and their belongings being forcibly removed from a property. Gardaí were present at the eviction.
“Last November, Darragh O’Brien received a detailed report from the Residential Tenancies Board on the issue of illegal evictions. The report had been requested by the Minister on foot of a number of high profile illegal evictions in 2020.
“The report, which had been completed in October 2021 but could not be issued to the Minister for legal reasons, contains five recommendations. A cover letter with the report dated November 2022 sets out four further recommendations made in light of subsequent illegal evictions.
“The recommendations by the RTB are eminently sensible. They include the need for trained illegal eviction facilitators at the RTB; inclusion of illegal eviction as an improper conduct by a landlord; issuing of significant fines for carrying out an illegal eviction; and powers to the Gardaí to arrest without a warrant anyone participating in an illegal eviction.
“Darragh O’Brien must speedily implement the Residential Tenancies Board recommendations on illegal evictions. They will produce additional protections for tenants at a time when there is likely to be an increase in illegal evictions.
“The events in Waterford this weekend again highlight the need for strengthening the powers of the RTB and to give the Gardaí much needed clarity with respect to their powers when illegal evictions are taking place.”
- The RTB report can be read here: https://mcusercontent.com/ffc5ff2fa2294c89d2ff7598e/files/82b0bafe-0a26-f636-04ed-54b452e050a7/report_to_minister_on_berkeley_road_case_and_illegal_evictions_final_released_by_department_of_housing.pdf
- The cover letter to Minister O’Brien can be read here: https://mcusercontent.com/ffc5ff2fa2294c89d2ff7598e/files/f278c444-34ea-716f-c567-c67009870165/12_berkeley_road_report_letter_23_november_2022_padraig_mcgoldrick_to_catherine_comer.pdf