Fianna Fáil is expected to support a Social Democrats Bill to give tenants 90 days’ notice to quit a property and to require landlords to provide new occupants access to rents paid by their predecessors.
The party’s support will guarantee that the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill, which will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday, passes the second or introductory stage as Labour and Sinn Féin have committed to supporting the legislation, according to Social Democrats joint leader Róisín Shortall.
The Bill also provides that those renting for between one and five years should be given a 120-day minimum notice to terminate.
Current law provides for only 28 days’ notice for those in the first year of their tenancy with 56 days’ notice for those in tenancies for 2½ years.
Ms Shortall said consultants DKM did work for the Department of Housing on this and found that across Europe there was generally a minimum of three months’ notice to quit, going up to six months.
Flow into homelessness
“It could be done very easily and would be a huge help in terms of stemming the flow into homelessness, just giving people breathing space into finding alternative accommodation,” Ms Shortall said.
Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Barry Cowen said he would recommend to the party front bench, which meets on Tuesday, that they support the Bill.
He said however that “We’ve won quite a few of them now but they’re stacking up.” The Opposition has defeated the Government on more than a dozen pieces of legislation at second stage, but few have progressed to the next, committee stage.
Mr Cowen warned that “confidence and supply would want to, if it’s to be successfully reviewed, find out what we’re going to do with all the Bills that were passed”.
The Government has yet to indicate its position on the Bill.