Share

Policy

Security

Threshold advocates for the removal of Section 34(b) from the Residential Tenancies Act

Section 34(b) is a block to long-term renting. It allows for ‘no reason’ evictions at the beginning of every further Part Four Tenancy. Terminations using this section are efforts to move towards indefinite tenancies. ‘No reason’ evictions have no place in a modern professional and regulated rental sector.

Read more here 

 

Threshold seeks promotion and support for long-term lease agreements.

Long-term leases are an effective way to ensure security of tenure for tenants and the viability of the private rental market as a realistic tenure of choice. This is the next natural step in the evolution of the private rented sector and to ensure we can all secure our ‘forever home’.

Read more here 

 

Threshold has called for increased funding for and promotion of services that stop homelessness before it occurs.

Prevention is cheaper than emergency homeless accommodation, avoids unnecessary human misery, and is the morally appropriate response to homelessness. Homeless prevention, as a solution to homelessness, is currently underfunded.

Threshold’s primary objective is to prevent homelessness by advocating for tenants through our advice service and dedicated national Tenancy Protection Service (TPS). Every year, Threshold prevents thousands of men, women, and children from entering homelessness. 

It is our experience that the most effective response to homelessness is to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first instance.

Read more here 

 

Threshold advocates for the recognition of banks and receivers as landlords.

A change in the law is long overdue to protect tenants in cases when a landlord’s property is being repossessed or where a receiver is appointed to a mortgaged property. The legal definition of ‘landlord’ needs to be changed to explicitly include both lending institutions and receivers so that the rights established under landlord and tenant law cannot be undermined or ignored as is currently the case.

Read more here 

 

Standards

Threshold proposes an NCT for Housing to improve standards in the private rented sector.

Poor standards continue to be one of the main issues facing people living in the private rented sector. Threshold clients report broken heating systems, persistent damp, mould, and exposed electrical wires.

Threshold has called for an ‘NCT’ for Housing where the burden of establishing compliance with the minimum standards regulations would rest with the landlord; whereby landlords would have an inspection of their property carried out by a registered professional and a certificate issued accordingly. The new inspection and sanctioning powers of the RTB lend themselves to such a scheme.

Alternatively, the responsibility of carrying out inspections, issuing a certificate, and enforcing standards could rest with a specific public body with some changes to the current system in place.

Read more here 

 

Threshold has called on Government to invest in and deliver schemes to upgrade the energy efficiency of private rental properties.

Improving energy efficiency standards is an important element to future-proofing the PRS. It is essential for making the PRS a sustainable, viable long-term housing option, limiting fuel poverty among renters, making it comfortable for older people or those with ill health. It can also contribute to reducing our CO2 emissions, as the residential sector makes up 24% of Ireland’s overall CO2 emissions.

Private rented tenants do not have the authority, autonomy, or access to grants to make changes to their dwelling to ensure greater energy efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions or attain an increased level of thermal comfort.

Action to address this is necessary, not only to future-proof the private rental sector but to contribute to meeting our national obligations to reduce our carbon emissions.

Read more here 

 

Affordability

Threshold has stated the Government will need to build 75,000 homes between 2021 and 2026 to make renting more affordable.

The most viable and long-lasting mechanism to stabilising Ireland’s housing sector is through the increased role of and investment by the State in building housing, as committed to in the Programme for Government. This means increasing the stock of housing owned by the Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies, which according to Threshold’s analysis, should equal 25% of total housing stock by 2040.

Read more here 

 

Threshold supports the development of Cost Rental projects.

By providing cost rental as a form of social rental or public housing, catering for middle-income groups Ireland would be following in the footsteps of countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, or Austria where there is greater equality in access to housing.

One of the greatest advantages of cost rental is that it can have a moderating impact on market rents and this impact will increase as more units are built. It is vital that the rent is affordable throughout a person’s life. This, as well as scaling up, is essential to making it a viable and valuable element of our housing landscape.

Read more here 

 

Threshold proposes a review of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and an increase in HAP rates to meet market rent.

Renters are finding it increasingly difficult to access affordable and secure private rented housing, particularly those eligible for HAP. The HAP limits, last reviewed in July 2016, fall short of market rent and must be increased.

Read more here 

 

Threshold continues to campaign for a Deposit Protections Scheme and the definition of a deposit.

The issue of the unjust and illegal retention of deposits by landlords is an act that can have devastating consequences for the tenant, their wellbeing, and their family. Without the return of a deposit, the chances of securing a home diminish, and they are put at greater risk of homelessness. If homelessness is the outcome then the cost to the tenant, the State and society increases even further.

The illegal retention of deposits by landlords has been a long-standing, and enduring feature of the private rented market in Ireland. Approximately 1,200 tenants lodge a dispute with the RTB seeking the return of their deposit each year.

We know from our work, that facilitated communication between the landlord and tenant is the most effective solution to deposit disputes. A Deposit Protection Scheme would facilitate this, removing all but the most complicated deposit disputes from the RTB dispute resolution services.

Traditionally deposits have been the equivalent of one month’s rent. Including a legal definition of a deposit as the equivalent of one month’s rent is a simple, effective measure to assist tenants struggling to access and afford a home in the PRS.

Read more here 

 

Support our campaign for the introduction of a Deposit Protection Scheme - sign the petition

 

 

Pobal-Logo-190x90 Dept Housing, Planning, Community LG