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Policy

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 changes to improve the operation of the housing system for people renting their home in Ireland. The organisation it is at the forefront of the development of innovative and creative approaches to overcoming housing problems.

Our Policy Priorities

Security of Tenure

  • Introduce indefinite tenancies.
  • Removal of Section 34(b) which enables 'No Reason Evictions'
  • Amend Section 34 of the Residential Tenancies Acts on the grounds for termination to provide stronger legal safeguards to tenants.

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.

Tackling Substandard Accommodation

  • Introduce a certification scheme whereby landlords must establish compliance with the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017 prior to a property being rented.
  • Urgently introduce a legal definition of overcrowding

Rent Certainty and Transparency

  • Roll out Rent Pressure Zones nationally and beyond the three years envisaged by the current legislation.
  • Ensure rent certainty legislation is adequately monitored and enforced to prevent avoidance measures.
  • Make the RTB rent index publicly accessible and searchable.

Housing Assistance Payment and Rent Supplement

  • Increase Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rent Supplement (RS) limits so they reflect market rent levels.
  • Reform the administration of the HAP scheme.
  • Extend Homeless HAP to other urban centres across the country.

Deposit Protection Scheme Roll-Out

  • Promptly set up the Deposit Protection Scheme and introduce a legal definition of deposit to mean one month’s rent.

Receiverships, Repossessions and Buy-to-let Properties

  • Amend the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to clarify the respective rights and obligations of landlords, tenants and receivers.
  • Introduce a code of conduct for mortgage arrears in respect of buy-to-let properties.

For further information on our policy work please contact :

Tracy Murphy Policy Officer, Threshold, 21 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, Eircode D07 KV61 or Email: tracy.murphy@threshold.ie

Threshold's Policy and Legal Officer positions are currently funded By Pobal. Pobal-Logo-190x90 Dept Housing, Planning, Community LG

threshold-homepage-slider-nct-575x384pxTackling Substandard Accommodation

Whilst welcoming enhanced minimum standards from 1st July 2017, there is a need to introduce a certification scheme or ‘NCT’ for rented housing where the burden of establishing compliance with the minimum standards regulations would rest with the landlord.

 

GRAPHICS TITLES--02Rent Certainty

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.

GRAPHICS TITLES--03Rent Supplement and Housing Assistance Payments (HAP)

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.

GRAPHICS TITLES--04Deposit Protection Scheme Roll-out

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.

 

GRAPHICS TITLES--06Receiverships, Repossessionsand Buy-to-let Properties

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.

GRAPHICS TITLES--07Security of Tenure

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.