Ireland has had the highest rent increases in the EU since 2015, with rents having risen over 25% in that time. The average rent in some parts of Dublin is over €2,224, an all-time high.
Many people can’t afford to rent close to where they work, and end up commuting long distances. This is unsustainable and is destroying quality of life. Reliance on the private housing market has failed. Rents are unaffordable and homelessness is at record highs, including nearly 4,000 children. Many adult children are stuck living with their parents due to the impossibility of meeting the cost of rent.
Labour will freeze rents until enough homes are built, to immediately alleviate the housing crisis. Labour froze rents in 2015 for two years, and it can be done again to give people certainty and to allow time for more homes to be built.
As well as freezing rents, Labour will introduce a system of rent caps. At the moment, rents are permitted to go up 4% every year, but wages are not increasing at anything like that rate. We will regulate short-term letting and enforce this, in order to free up more homes that should not be being used as hotels.
Secure Long-Term Tenancies
Labour believes that secure, long-term renting should be a viable option so that people have security and can make a place into their long-term home. Labour will bring in long-term leases for renters, with rent certainty, and we’ll stop unfair evictions. To achieve this, we will strengthen the powers of the Rental Tenancies Board and increase its staff so that it has the capacity to fulfil its mandate.
Deposit Protection Scheme
Labour will ban the practice of landlords asking for more than one month’s rent as a deposit and implement a deposit protection scheme.
NCT For Rental Properties
Labour will introduce an NCT-style inspection of rental premises that issues Minimum Standards Certificates so tenants know the places they’re viewing meet standards on fire safety, and oblige local authorities to publish annual statistics into inspections of private rental accommodation to ensure regulations are correctly and effectively enforced.
Make Rent Count
Some renters are paying over €500 more than they would for a mortgage. Labour will ensure that rental payments and deposit savings are counted as part of credit ratings, to help first-time buyers.
Help For Renters Who Want to Buy
Labour will re-introduce a Rent to Buy scheme through our affordable housing plan where a person with a tenancy for three years that successfully pays all their rent would see it turned into a deposit for the property that they will then go on to own.