Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on figures he has received from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), which show a dramatic increase in the number of notices to quit issued to tenants in 2021.
958 notices were issued in the last three months of 2021, with 614 (64%) of these notices issued because the landlord intends to sell the rental property.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“The data on notices to quit and evictions from the RTB are very alarming.
“We are seeing a surge in eviction notices, coupled with a dramatic increase in the number of landlords selling up.
“This is not a new trend. The number of available properties in the private rental market has been falling since 2017.
“Yet the Minister for Housing refuses to put in place a plan to slow down this disorderly exit of accidental and semi-professional landlords from the market.
“The government has been over reliant on HAP and other forms of leasing, instead of Council homes, to house social housing tenants in the private rental sector.
“These tenants are now being evicted and there is nowhere for them to go as the new rental homes coming on the market are expensive build to rent properties.
“Then you also have families who are not eligible for any social housing supports struggling to find somewhere to rent as rents rise and home ownership remains out of reach.
“This is directly contributing to the rise in homelessness.
“Local authorities must be allowed to buy any properties with HAP or RAS tenants in place where the tenant has an eviction notice and is at risk of homelessness. Additional funding must be provided for this.
“The government should also implement the Focus Ireland Amendment to restrict buy to let landlords who availed of tax reliefs from issuing vacant possession notices to quits. When they are selling, they must sell with the tenant in situ.
“Government must also speedily implement the Simon Communities Homeless Prevention Bill that passed through the Dáil in December.
“There delivery of new social housing must also be accelerated.
“Alongside this, we need to see a ban on rent increases for three years for new and existing tenancies, and increased investment in affordable cost rental homes for those earning too much for social housing but not enough to buy.
“Without these kinds of measures the loss of rental properties from the market and the rise in family homelessness will continue.”