Monday, 29 March 2021
Residential Tenancies Bill 2021: Committee and Remaining Stages
I agree with my colleague, Senator Seery Kearney, with regard to the amendment. I welcome the Minister of State back to the House. It is fair to say that this legislation provides more clarity and protection for people who are renting than is provided to them in most other countries in the world. The protections provided in this legislation would probably not have even been considered two or three years ago but, because of the situation we are in, they are now being considered now. It is reasonable to come back here if this measure is to be further extended, beyond 12 July. The important thing is that the protections are there. Many people have benefitted from them. There are thousands of people who are in arrears with their mortgages and there are also thousands who are in arrears with rent. There are thousands of landlords who are in arrears with mortgages, particularly people who might only have one or two houses and who find themselves on the pandemic unemployment payment and not in a position to fulfil their mortgage commitments. It is not easy for them either. We always have to be cognisant of their situation. There is a reasonable expectation that people who, through no fault of their own, find that they cannot pay their rent would receive the protection of our State in the middle of a pandemic. That is essentially what this legislation will do and what associated legislation has done.It is crystal clear. Reviewing the legislation after 12 July is appropriate and I would not support an extension.