Workers Party representative for Dublin Central, Éilis Ryan, has blasted the Government’s response to this week’s RTE Investigates programme, which shed light on the scandalous overcrowded conditions in Dublin’s private rental sector. Ryan is calling for meaningful action on the issue that would see private landlords who profit from overcrowding in their properties assume responsibility.

She commented: “Once again we see a totally toothless response from the Government to the crisis in housing”

“The response to the shocking revelations of this week’s RTE Investigates programme has been a feeble promise to increase the ability of councils to inspect properties. This is no solution to the problem of overcrowding, shifting the burden onto the state while slum landlords and those who benefit most from rack-renting are absolved of all responsibility”

She continued: “The Workers Party offers a counter-proposal: introduce legislation which compels landlords to monitor and register every individual tenant living in their properties. Private landlords would have a pro-active responsibility to register tenants and how much rent they are paying, together with a list of bedroom and bathroom numbers”

“In addition to this, the Workers Party private sector housing policy calls for maximum rents to be linked to the floor space of the property, rather than individual tenants, in order to avoid overcrowding”

“Furthermore, in those cases where landlords are found to be in breach of minimum health and safety standards, renovations should be carried out immediately, with all costs to tenants borne by the landlord. Crucially, the tenant should retain full right to return to the property at the existing rent. At present, many tenants are being evicted or made to pay higher rents after renovations to sub-standard properties. This must be stopped”

Ryan concluded: “Placing the burden of regulating slum landlords on the state is an enormous drain on personnel and taxpayers’ money. We have seen in the past how the Government’s promise to regulate short-term lets on sites such as Airbnb through increasing inspections has been an abject failure”. 

“All individuals and families in the private rented sector are entitled to decent and safe living conditions. Slum landlords must be faced down”