Header Item Multi-Party Actions Bill 2017: First Stage (Continued)
 Header Item Private Rental Sector Standards: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 961 No. 3
Unrevised

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  1 o’clock

Private Rental Sector Standards: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

  The following motion was moved by Deputy Eoin Ó Broin on Tuesday, 7 November 2017:

That Dáil Éireann:
notes, with alarm, the revelations regarding breaches of minimum standards in the private rental sector contained in last weeks RTÉ Investigates documentary ‘Nightmare to Let’;

further notes that:
— in 2016 only four per cent of private rental properties were inspected by local authorities;

— in 2016 two thirds of inspected properties were not compliant with minimum standards regulations;

— local authorities have failed to adequately enforce standards in the private rental sector;

— central government has failed to adequately resource local authorities to carry out their enforcement functions with respect to the private rental sector; and

— significant numbers of tenants continue to live in unacceptable and substandard private rented accommodation; and
calls for:
— the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to set out, as a matter of urgency, a plan for ensuring compliance with minimum standards regulations in the private rental sector;

— the Government to adequately resource local authorities, to ensure that a comprehensive inspection and enforcement regime is put in place;

— the Government to support the proposal by Threshold for an NCT-type certification system for private rented housing to further strengthen compliance with legal standards;

— the Government to review the penalties faced by landlords, to ensure adequate sanctions for those that fail to register tenancies or who fail to meet minimum standards; and

— the Government to publish an annual report detailing levels of private rental sector inspections and enforcement in each local authority.

  Debate resumed on amendment No. 2:

To delete all words after “further notes that” and substitute the following:
“— successive governments have put in place a system of regulation for the private rental sector dependent on vulnerable tenants complaining about breaches of regulations to councils or the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) rather than preventative State enforcement;

— in 2016 only four per cent of private rental properties were inspected by local authorities;

— in 2016 two thirds of inspected properties were not compliant with minimum standards regulations;

— local authorities have failed to adequately enforce standards in the private rental sector;

— central government has failed to adequately resource local authorities to carry out their enforcement functions with respect to the private rental sector;

— significant numbers of tenants continue to live in unacceptable and substandard private rented accommodation whereby people’s lives are being endangered by the drive for profit of unscrupulous landlords; and

— the inadequate legislation in relation to overcrowding, which is not covered under current minimum standards regulations for the private rental sector, and the lack of regulation of student accommodation; and
calls for:
— the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to set out, as a matter of urgency, a plan for ensuring compliance with and improving minimum standards regulations in the private rental sector;

— the Government to review the penalties faced by landlords, to ensure adequate sanctions, including seizing assets of non-compliant landlords, prison sentences and large fines to allow increased compensation for tenants, for those that fail to register tenancies or who fail to meet minimum standards;

— the Government to support the proposal for an NCT-type certification system for private rented housing to further strengthen compliance with legal standards, and as part of this to adequately resource local authorities to ensure that a comprehensive inspection and enforcement regime is put in place, including by hiring 500-750 new local authority inspectors to establish and oversee the new certification system and to ensure that one third to a half of all rental properties are inspected annually from next year;

— the Government to guarantee that undocumented migrants be permitted to make complaints about accommodation standards without fear of deportation or other legal consequences;

— the Government to publish an annual report detailing levels of private rental sector inspections and enforcement in each local authority;

— the Government to democratise the RTB to ensure tenant representation and significantly increase resources to the agency to enable it to properly police registration and compliance with private rental sector regulations, including rent caps under the Rent Pressure Zones, and the introduction of a deposit protection scheme;

— the Government to reverse the burden of proof from tenants to landlords in relation to breaches of rent caps under the Rent Pressure Zones, by mandating that landlords receive a certificate of compliance from the RTB before setting rents on a property;

— the Government to close loopholes in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 that allow landlords to circumvent Rent Pressure Zone regulations under the guise of property refurbishment and to apply the rent caps to new properties;

— the Government to introduce new legislation on overcrowding, particularly in relation to pre-1963 properties;

— the Government to review legislation on multi-occupancy units and on student accommodation, which currently falls outside of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, to improve protections for students; and

— the Government to reverse its failed policy of outsourcing ‘social housing’ to the private rental sector through the Housing Assistance Payment and to build or acquire at least 40,000 new public social and affordable homes next year instead.”

                 - (Deputy Mick Barry)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl I must now deal with a postponed division relating to the motion on private rental sector standards. On Tuesday, 7 November 2017, on the question that amendment No. 2 to the motion be agreed to, a division was claimed and in accordance with Standing Order 70(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 15; Níl, 116; Staon, 1.

Níl    Staon
Information on Mick Barry  Zoom on Mick Barry  Barry, Mick. Information on Bobby Aylward  Zoom on Bobby Aylward  Aylward, Bobby.   Information on Mattie McGrath  Zoom on Mattie McGrath  McGrath, Mattie.
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Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P. Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Barrett, Seán.    
Information on Joan Collins  Zoom on Joan Collins  Collins, Joan. Information on John Brady  Zoom on John Brady  Brady, John.    
Information on Catherine Connolly  Zoom on Catherine Connolly  Connolly, Catherine. Information on John Brassil  Zoom on John Brassil  Brassil, John.    
Information on Ruth Coppinger  Zoom on Ruth Coppinger  Coppinger, Ruth. Information on Declan Breathnach  Zoom on Declan Breathnach  Breathnach, Declan.    
Information on Clare Daly  Zoom on Clare Daly  Daly, Clare. Information on Colm Brophy  Zoom on Colm Brophy  Brophy, Colm.    
Information on Seamus Healy  Zoom on Seamus Healy  Healy, Seamus. Information on James Browne  Zoom on James Browne  Browne, James.    
Information on Gino Kenny  Zoom on Gino Kenny  Kenny, Gino. Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  Bruton, Richard.    
Information on Catherine Martin  Zoom on Catherine Martin  Martin, Catherine. Information on Pat Buckley  Zoom on Pat Buckley  Buckley, Pat.    
Information on Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy  Murphy, Catherine. Information on Peter Burke  Zoom on Peter Burke  Burke, Peter.    
Information on Paul Murphy  Zoom on Paul Murphy  Murphy, Paul. Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan.    
Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan  Ryan, Eamon. Information on Mary Butler  Zoom on Mary Butler  Butler, Mary.    
Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Shortall, Róisín. Information on Thomas Byrne  Zoom on Thomas Byrne  Byrne, Thomas.    
Information on Bríd Smith  Zoom on Bríd Smith  Smith, Bríd. Information on Jackie Cahill  Zoom on Jackie Cahill  Cahill, Jackie.    
  Information on Dara Calleary  Zoom on Dara Calleary  Calleary, Dara.    
  Information on Seán Canney  Zoom on Seán Canney  Canney, Seán.    
  Information on Ciaran Cannon  Zoom on Ciaran Cannon  Cannon, Ciarán.    
  Information on Joe Carey  Zoom on Joe Carey  Carey, Joe.    
  Information on Pat Casey  Zoom on Pat Casey  Casey, Pat.    
  Information on Shane Cassells  Zoom on Shane Cassells  Cassells, Shane.    
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  Information on Lisa Chambers  Zoom on Lisa Chambers  Chambers, Lisa.    
  Information on Michael Collins  Zoom on Michael Collins  Collins, Michael.    
  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Coveney, Simon.    
  Information on Barry Cowen  Zoom on Barry Cowen  Cowen, Barry.    
  Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  Creed, Michael.    
  Information on Seán Crowe  Zoom on Seán Crowe  Crowe, Seán.    
  Information on David Cullinane  Zoom on David Cullinane  Cullinane, David.    
  Information on John Curran  Zoom on John Curran  Curran, John.    
  Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  D'Arcy, Michael.    
  Information on Jim Daly  Zoom on Jim Daly  Daly, Jim.    
  Information on Patrick Deering  Zoom on Patrick Deering  Deering, Pat.    
  Information on Pearse Doherty  Zoom on Pearse Doherty  Doherty, Pearse.    
  Information on Regina Doherty  Zoom on Regina Doherty  Doherty, Regina.    
  Information on Stephen Donnelly  Zoom on Stephen Donnelly  Donnelly, Stephen S.    
  Information on Paschal Donohoe  Zoom on Paschal Donohoe  Donohoe, Paschal.    
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  Information on Andrew Doyle  Zoom on Andrew Doyle  Doyle, Andrew.    
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  Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  Noonan, Michael.    
  Information on Eoin Ó Broin  Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin  Ó Broin, Eoin.    
  Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.    
  Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon.    
  Information on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire  Zoom on Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire  Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.    
  Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.    
  Information on Jonathan O'Brien  Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien  O'Brien, Jonathan.    
  Information on Jim O'Callaghan  Zoom on Jim O'Callaghan  O'Callaghan, Jim.    
  Information on Kate O'Connell  Zoom on Kate O'Connell  O'Connell, Kate.    
  Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O'Dea, Willie.    
  Information on Patrick O'Donovan  Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan  O'Donovan, Patrick.    
  Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O'Dowd, Fergus.    
  Information on Kevin O'Keeffe  Zoom on Kevin O'Keeffe  O'Keeffe, Kevin.    
  Information on Fiona O'Loughlin  Zoom on Fiona O'Loughlin  O'Loughlin, Fiona.    
  Information on Louise O'Reilly  Zoom on Louise O'Reilly  O'Reilly, Louise.    
  Information on Frank O'Rourke  Zoom on Frank O'Rourke  O'Rourke, Frank.    
  Information on Jan O'Sullivan  Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan  O'Sullivan, Jan.    
  Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie.    
  Information on John Paul Phelan  Zoom on John Paul Phelan  Phelan, John Paul.    
  Information on Maurice Quinlivan  Zoom on Maurice Quinlivan  Quinlivan, Maurice.    
  Information on Anne Rabbitte  Zoom on Anne Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Anne.    
  Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring  Ring, Michael.    
  Information on Noel Rock  Zoom on Noel Rock  Rock, Noel.    
  Information on Shane P.N. Ross  Zoom on Shane P.N. Ross  Ross, Shane.    
  Information on Brendan Ryan  Zoom on Brendan Ryan  Ryan, Brendan.    
  Information on Seán Sherlock  Zoom on Seán Sherlock  Sherlock, Sean.    
  Information on Niamh Smyth  Zoom on Niamh Smyth  Smyth, Niamh.    
  Information on Brian Stanley  Zoom on Brian Stanley  Stanley, Brian.    
  Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  Stanton, David.    
  Information on Peadar Tóibín  Zoom on Peadar Tóibín  Tóibín, Peadar.    
  Information on Robert Troy  Zoom on Robert Troy  Troy, Robert.    
  Information on Katherine Zappone  Zoom on Katherine Zappone  Zappone, Katherine.    

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Ruth Coppinger and Gino Kenny; Níl, Deputies Eoin Ó Broin and Denise Mitchell.

Amendment declared lost.


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