Threshold works, on a daily basis, with people experiencing housing problems and is in a unique position to analyse existing problems and identify necessary policy change to improve the operation of the housing system in Ireland. The organisation it is at the forefront of the development of innovative and creative approaches to overcoming housing problems. Click here for a copy of all Threshold's immediate Policy Priorities for the Private Rented Sector.
A national strategy should be published that is adequately resourced and has clear targets to address issues like long-term rent certainty, increasing affordable supply, improving the quality of rented housing, promoting affordable supply and dealing with the difficulties in the buy-to-let sector.
A long-term approach is needed, beyond the temporary ‘rent freeze’, to protect landlords or tenants from rapid increases or decreases in market rent levels. Without this, tenants still face a risk of homelessness and landlords will still face uncertainty with regard to their rental income.
Rent Supplement (RS) limits need to be increased, as is happening in relation to Housing Assistance Payments (HAP), to reflect current market rents and to prevent families becoming homeless.
Now that legislation for a Deposit Protection Scheme is in place, this scheme needs to be set up in a timely manner. Under this scheme the PRTB who will ensure that deposit monies are safeguarded and returned promptly to the tenant (or landlord) at the end of the tenancy.
Tenants’ rights are often ignored when receivers are appointed or when lenders seek to repossess a mortgaged property that is being rented. To address this issue a change to the law to ensure that both receivers appointed to mortgaged properties and lenders who have initiated repossession proceedings are regarded as the landlord in relation to existing tenancies. The introductions of a code of conduct specifically addressing buy-to-let mortgage arrears, is also needed.
There is a need to review provisions in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 with a view to ensuring indefinite tenancies become the norm, by limiting the grounds under which a landlord can end a tenancy.