Tenants Complaint System Needs 'Radical Reform'

The complaint system available to landlords, tenants and neighbours is in need of "radical reform", Fianna Fáil leader of Dublin City Council, Paul McAuliffe, has said.

Cllr McAuliffe says radical reform of the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) is needed to ensure it is fit for purpose.

"In order to re-balance rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants, the state's complaint body the PRTB must have a ramped up role with additional resources," Cllr McAuliffe

"Day in and day out I meet people who raise with me their concerns regarding the issue of rogue tenants and landlords. The current systems are ineffective and take far too long to have any real impact. People have simply given up making a complaint because they recognise the system is not working.

"We have heard everything from overgrown and dirty gardens to serious drug dealing, people feel at a loss that they have nowhere to go, even Council officials have admitted that the process of chasing absent landlords is getting worse.

"The government has whittled away the staff numbers in the PRTB over the past four years leaving it unable to deal effectively with complaints and broader issues. Tenants, landlords and adjoining neighbours are suffering with long waiting times and inadequate support as a result.

"If we are to formalise the rental sector and make more family friendly leases available, we need to have a strong complaints and regulatory body. In government Fianna Fáil would reform the PRTB and provide it with additional powers and an increase in resources to ensure it can carry out its work effectively.

"Reducing complaint waiting times will be a key priority for us when reforming the PRTB. Expanding the data collection remit and capacity of the PRTB in terms of rent comparison and assisting Local Authorities in quality assurance inspections will be vital in transforming the private rental market. Linked with this expansion is the need for the PRTB to promote greater awareness of tenants' rights and responsibilities. Utilising traditional and social media to create a greater knowledge around renters' rights is important in ensuring all households have access to the legal entitlements.

"These measures will help ensure the vast majority of properties are registered and subjected to the full remit of rules and regulations necessary to create a healthy private rental market where tenants and landlords alike have stability and security. Fianna Fáil is committed to reforming the PRTB to ensure it is fit for purpose," concluded Cllr McAuliffe.


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