TDs highlight antisocial behaviour by tenants

Fri, Jan 25, 2013, 00:00

TDs claimed some tenants in private accommodation were contributing to the problem of anti-social behaviour.

Tipperary South Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes said anti-social behaviour was a major problem in Clonmel, Cashel, Carrick-on-Suir, Fethard, Tipperary town and elsewhere.

“Many older people cannot sleep at night because of noise and nuisance created by unruly tenants,’’ he said. “In this day and age, it is not good enough, particularly for the elderly who have paid for their houses and worked hard all their lives.’’

Mr Hayes was speaking during the debate on the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) (No2) Bill 2012, which updates the law on tenancy.

He said complaints could be made to the Private Residential Tenancies Bill (PRTB) but the process of adjudication was too slow and bureaucratic and the penalties were too weak.

“Generally, the Garda will not act unless a criminal offence has been committed, but many offences could be prevented if gardaí had powers to act when complaints are made to them in the first place,’’ he added.

Galway West Labour TD Derek Nolan said it should be acknowledged there was a serious and growing problem of anti-social behaviour in residential areas.

“People come in to me who have neighbours who cause them misery,’’ said Mr Nolan. “These people are enduring behaviour that is sometimes minor but which accumulates, has a grinding effect on them, affects their mental and physical health, community relations and the vibrancy of the neighbourhood.’’

Fine Gael Cork South Central TD Jerry Buttimer said they were just tinkering at the edges of the problem.

There were housing estates in vast areas of Cork city with no owner-occupier and just rented accommodation, or there might be a single owner-occupier in a row of houses with the rest rented, said Mr Buttimer.

“That does not lend itself to the development of community through a proper mix of housing,’’ he added.