Government defeated in Seanad vote on upward-only rent reviews

Independent Senator’s Bill passes narrowly

 

The Government has been defeated in the Seanad in a vote on a Private Member’s Bill ending upward only rent reviews.

The Bill, moved by Independent Senator Feargal Quinn, was carried by 23 votes to 22, in a division where Senators walked through the Ta and Nil lobbies, having received the backing of fellow Independents.

Earlier, there had been a tie in an electronic vote and the Bill was defeated on the casting vote of Fine Gael Cathaoirleach Paddy Burke. When Mr Quinn’s supporters called for a “walk through’’ vote, Independent Senator Paul Bradford had arrived in the chamber and supported the Bill.

The Bill now goes to the Dáil for consideration.

Mr Quinn said his Bill, the Upward Only (Clauses and Reviews) Bill 2013, was anything but arbitrary or discriminatory.

“The reason this Bill targets upward only clauses in the commercial sector is because of the damage which has been done to that sector by the existence of such clauses,’’ he added.

Mr Quinn said the legislation did not seek to impose any burden on landlords as a class, and it merely sought to allow market rents to prevail.