Publication in pdf format - Threshold

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Publication in pdf format - Threshold

t h r e s h o l d t ha rn en su ha ol lrd e ap no nr ut a2006l r e p o r t 2006director’sreportb o b j o r da nApproximately is the one national in five Irish organisation households that live helps in either people social with rentedor housing private problems rented accommodation. and campaigns Renters for a better are concentrated housing system. in urbanareas with over works two-fifths mainly with (41%) tenants living living in the Dublin the private area. Renters rentedare sector, much but more also likely local than authority owner tenants occupiers and to people live in a who bedsitter are orapartment, homeless. When with 29% Threshold of renters began compared its work with in 1978, 1% of tenants owners living in thistype in rented of accommodation. homes had little A disproportionate or no legal protection number but of renters Threshold live inpoverty; was there over to a negotiate third (35%) with have landlords incomes to below secure the ‘human poverty solutions’ line usedby to the serious EU, and problems, over a such fifth (21%) as illegal live evictions in consistent and poverty. withholding ofrent deposits.As revealed by the 2002 Census the private sector has become the predominant sourceof The rental implementation accommodation, of the accounting Residential for Tenancies 141,459 Act units 2004 in that and year. the establishment While catering offor the moderate Private Residential and higher Tenancies income groups, Board the (PRTB) private mean rented that sector the rights is also and playing obligations anincreasing of both landlords role in and housing tenants people are surviving now enshrined on very in low law. incomes. Vulnerable At people the end facing of 2005, illegal60,000 eviction, recipients invalid notice of rent of termination, supplement were unreasonable living in the rent sector. increases, In addition, or invasion the new ofRental privacy, Accommodation now have recourse Scheme to a new (RAS) dispute which resolution is gradually mechanism. being extended Threshold to recipients ensuresin that long people term who need are of unable housing to will access rely their heavily rights on private can do rented so with housing. our help. Our workis focused on tenants because when a serious problem occurs in the landlord-tenantCurrent information shows that rents are high and that they increased during 2005.relationship, it is the tenant who faces the risk of homelessness.The ‘privately owned rent index’ published by the Central Statistics Office shows rentsnationally Threshold’s were clients 4.3% come higher mainly December from the low-priced 2005 than end 12 months of the private earlier. rented The DAFT. sector,ie single index people confirms who the cannot upward get into trend social and reports housing, stronger families inflation receipt in of Galway rent supplement, City andDublin workers than employed elsewhere. on low More wages, detailed and migrants information who about have regional come to variations Ireland to in work. rentshould Our clients become numbered available 18,000 through in 2006, the Private over half Residential (54%) of Tenancies whom had Board incomes (PRTB). lessrsThresholdthan €15,000 which is below minimum wage levels (€15,514 pa). Our figures confirmRenting privately continues to strain the budgets of less well off households. Accordingnational statistics which show that 35% of renters have incomes below the EUto 2005 rental market statistics from DAFT.ie, a single person seeking a studio unitpoverty threshold [see p.7]. The traditional housing route in Ireland, home ownership,in Dublin 1 paid €581 per month on average. Assuming the tenant earned €15,912is therefore open to few of our clients, even with the government’s ‘affordable’ homeannually, equivalent to the minimum wage on a 39 hour week, 44% of their grossownership schemes.income would be spent on housing. Even if they were in a position to share two-bedroomaccommodation, Threshold’s timely the intervention average rent is crucial remained for high vulnerable at €421 tenants per person to realise per month. the improvedThreshold’s protection possible 2004 survey under of legislation. rent supplement Our staff recipients support in clients Cork who City may revealed be unable that tosome claim rent their ceilings legal rights under because that scheme of difficulties were too such low, as with low one literacy in five skills, paying poor more English to thelandlord language than skills, the health contribution difficulties required or other out problems. of their welfare Threshold benefits. gets positive results fortenants by negotiating directly with landlords and by advocating for our clients throughDespite the high cost of renting, a lot of accommodation particularly at the lower endthe dispute resolution service provided by the PRTB. We prepare cases and representof the rented market is of poor quality. It has long been illegal for landlords to lettenants at PRTB adjudication and tribunal hearings.substandard property below the requirements of the Housing (Standards for RentedHouses) While the Regulations, protection afforded 1993 by the the fire Residential safety provisions Tenancies for Act multiple 2004 property is a most units positivein development, the Fire Safety legislation Act 1981. and policy But high needs demand to go for further rented to accommodation provide appropriate combined securitywith and legal poor protection enforcement of tenants. regulations Threshold by local is concerned authorities about means the that number many of landlords clientscontinue who come to to get us away with problems with renting around substandard securing accommodation the return of rent to deposits, vulnerable with people. 1,977However people asking it is likely us for that help the in 2006. requirements This issue of the has new remained Rental the Accommodation single biggest issue Scheme fortenants since Threshold was established almost 30 years ago. A landlord who unfairly5

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