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Landlords would face much steeper fines for breaching rules under proposed laws

The bill has received cross-party support

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LANDLORDS COULD HAVE to give private tenants at least three months’ notice and tell incoming tenants what the previous rent was under a new bill that was published today.

The bill, introduced by Social Democrats co-leader Roisín Shortall, has the backing of opposition parties Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour and the Green Party.

Current law requires landlords to give tenants between 28 and 35 days’ notice for those in the first year of their tenancy, with 56 days’ notice for those in tenancies for two to three years.

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill would give all renters a minimum of three months to find new accommodation. That would climb to four months for tenants who had been in their homes a year, four and a half months after five years, five and a half months after six and over six months after seven.

The bill would also allow tenants have access to details of the amount of rent paid under the previous tenancy before theirs began. Shortall says that this will ensure that the maximum rent increases charged in designated Rent Pressure Zones is applied correctly.

A third suggestion in the bill raises the maximum fine that can be applied to landlords who breach the act from €4,000 to €15,000.

Speaking at Leinster House today, Shortall said:

“The purpose of the bill is to provide more security to tenants. We all know we’re in the midst of a serious housing crisis.

Landlords only have to give tenants a very short notice period and we’re suggesting this be extended to give a more reasonable period.

“This was brought to our attention by charities in the area who are dealing with families being made homeless by short notices.”

Shortall said that 120 days is standard across the continent and the bill would bring Ireland in line with best practice.

Her party co-leader Catherine Murphy said the bill was a sign of a “changing of tenure” in Ireland as long-term renting becomes more normalised.

The bill also has the support of national housing charities Focus Ireland, Threshold and the Simon Communities.

Read: ‘Private renters need three months’ notice and should know what previous tenants paid’

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