Friday, 4 June 2021
Affordable Housing Bill 2021: Committee Stage (Resumed)
Malcolm Noonan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Green Party)
This amendment will affect the way in which the Minister in his role as regulator of the cost rental sector may prescribe processes for how landlords deal with voluntary departures from multiple-person tenancies. The Senator may have misunderstood the purpose of the subsection and thought it was something to do with evictions. It is certainly not.This element of the Bill deals with how, when multiple tenants are sharing a cost rental home and are jointly and severally liable under the tenancy, one or more, but not all, tenants can get their names removed from the tenancy agreement. This could be the case, for example, if one of the tenants found employment in another part of the country and needed to move. As in the private rental sector, removing oneself from a multiple-person tenancy agreement will be possible with the consent of all parties concerned. A landlord may require the tenant to find a replacement, which is a reasonable measure. If all tenants wish to depart simultaneously, the tenancy must be ended and the dwelling will become available to be let to new eligible tenants.
There is no intention that the regulations would arbitrarily trap people in a tenancy when they no longer want to be there or eject people from shared tenancies in which they are happy to continue.
However, there must be a process to regulate how people depart from and arrive into shared cost rental tenancies. As the Senator will understand, it cannot be a free-for-all so long as the landlord consents, otherwise the tenant eligibility criteria prescribed by the Minister will be evaded. The Minister must be able to prescribe that a check on eligibility, with reference to the prescribed criteria, is carried out on new tenants. It is for that reason that I will be opposing the amendment.