The Crying Chair Revolt



Dublin’s rental crisis.

Private tenants get their hashtag on.


Sive Bresnihan writes:

Sky-high rents, chronic mould and regular evictions. These are just some of the problems tenants are sharing via social media as part of the #rentripoff campaign.

The campaign was launched by the Dublin Tenants Association, a support and advocacy group for tenants in the private rented sector.

The DTA have launched the campaign to get public support behind their submission to the government’s Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness. The submission calls for the immediate introduction of measures to regulate rent increases and to provide security of tenure for tenants.

Using the #rentripoff tenants have already shared stories of 75% rent increases, repeated evictions and dreadful conditions.

The DTA are calling for rent certainty measures to link rent increases to the Consumer Price Index, echoing similar proposals from Threshold and housing experts like DIT’s Dr. Lorcan Sirr. The DTA are also calling for a number of measures to strengthen security of tenure:

End the ‘grace period’ whereby landlords can end a tenancy at any time during the first 6 months without any reason;

End the right or landlords to end a tenancy because they require the property for family use

End the right of landlords to end a tenancy due to sale of property.


Dublin Tenants Association

72 thoughts on “The Crying Chair Revolt

    1. Declan

      if there’s a vote in it though . . .

      Even the opposition parties might lower themselves

    2. ALisonT

      The main reason for the lack of rental supply is the exodus of landlords from the market due to restrictions on their rights and extra taxes and charges along with the removal of bedsits that many people were perfectly happy to live in. The only solution for advocacy groups is to increase the restrictions on landlords then they will wonder why there is no where to rent.

      A balance needs to be brought in. Who would invest and become a landlord if they cannot sell their property. Being a landlord is the only business where you have to pay income taxes even if you are making a loss (due to the removal of full relief on interest). Landlords are liable for their tenants water charges but have no right to see if the bills are being paid. Landlords also have to keep providing their properties for over a year if the tenant decides not to pay rent. This often leaves landlords with difficulty providing for their own families. when applying for state assistance or student maintenance the gross income from properties is used instead of net – this again happens with no other business.

      People complain about small unprofessional landlords and then when large companies came in they complained about vulture funds and faceless corporations.

      Rights are needed on both sides. The Gov needs to stop screwing landlords and give them some incentive to invest.

          1. dav

            “The Gov needs to stop screwing landlords and give them some incentive to invest”

            I think we need to get out of the mindset that peoples homes are some form of “Investment”. You want a “return” go and deal with the spivs in the “City”, stop evicting people just so you can make more profit.

  1. Christopher

    As a renter the increases annoy me but I think that its unfair for people who currently rent a place to think that those who are moving to Dublin now should pay more than them (which is the inevitable outcome of rent control). It’s like the public servants who screwed over new entrants by slashing their pay and not their own.

    Rent control is NOT the answer- taxing vacant building and and taxing AirBnB lets would help as it would do the one thing that would actually control rents- INCREASE SUPPLY.

    1. well, tat's that

      How would taxing Air BnB work out to increase supply? Those apartments/houses are already supplying? You’re suggesting you’d like them taxed to make short term lenting not worth it and forced to rent middle to long term?

    2. Cian

      You don’t need to tax air bnb – you just need to enforce existing planning laws regarding short term rents…

      1. DubLoony

        Also change of us from residential to business if they are being let out as holiday rents.

    3. JohnJoeMahockey

      That’s not what happened with public sector pay. It was not the public servants who screwed over new entrants. It was foisted upon them. Public servants had their wages cut too. Quite significantly in some cases.

      Rent control might create an unequal price range and, yes, newer renters may end up paying more than existing ones, but it would also lead to a general lowering of rents. This could ultimately mean that, although paying slightly more than their neighbour, they could be paying significantly less than they would without rent control. Of course, this would depend on how rent control was implemented.What renters, and I am one, want is a fighting chance. That’s all. Sanitary conditions and a reasonable-ish rent that doesn’t go up twice before dinner time.

      As for AirBnB, that is a completely separate issue. It would be akin to taxing marmalade to ease car insurance costs. Taxing vacant buildings – particularly ones left vacant for considerable lengths of time – is definitely a good idea.

  2. Harry Molloy

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, my deepest disappointment with the recent election was how little of the dialogue went to housing and childcare.

    We badly need more building, not just social housing either, that’s just one part of the problem. If Coveny does a good job here he’ll have future Taoiseach nailed on.

    1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

      No one wants to talk about it because it would be a sustained programme of building, funded by the government, which would mean taxes, which people give out about – all the while crying about how little Johnny can’t afford to buy a house despite a good job.

      Until there is a critical mass of people who are renters, there will not be the pressure on landlords there should be or rent caps or any measure that might make things easier for families.

      1. Harry Molloy

        Certainly right on the first paragraph and I fear that you’re right on the second too!

        1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

          I have my fingers crossed for the second, otherwise we are going to have to win the Lotto or leave London. One of the last elections in the UK had a renters party specifically to address this issue so it is at least gaining some ground.

    2. DubLoony

      Water has hogged a disproportionate amount of airtime and program for government.

    3. ForFecksSake

      We need social housing to be built not private homes. If the state stopped paying rent allowance and moved those people into social housing then the privately owned homes they currently occupy would be freed up. Social housing should be the priority and the goal should be to abolish rent allowance. Also the HSE should have no role in housing. The healthcare system is a mess they have enough on their hands dealing with that.

  3. Nilbert

    not sure about the family use one… and why point out that it was a teenage son (possibly starting in college)? would she prefer if it was a 40 year old loafer?
    If appropriate notice was given, what’s the point?

    that said, people renting deserve more security in general.

    1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

      Try again…

      I would think she was drawing attention to the instability of renting and losing her home. Presumably the kid already has one.

      1. eoghan

        Renting is always unstable and potentially temporary, it’s just the nature of the beast.

        I had one landlord sell 2 houses out from under me in the last few years. It was a pain, but it hardly means that he did something wrong. I was given the required notice as I would have given him if I’d decided to move.

        I see nothing at all wrong with what happened there… aside from her being miffed that she was booted out so a smelly boy could move in :)

        1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

          Yes but it could be more stable. There has to be a happy medium.

          Boys do smell…

        2. ForFecksSake

          It isn’t the nature of the beast in other countries. We need new laws in this area. That’s the point.

    2. ForFecksSake

      Because it’s a kid moving out their parent’s house putting an adult out on the street at a time when housing is in short supply.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Having watched at least 4 episodes of House. Lupus is NOT the answer.

  4. Owen C

    A 75% rent increase suggests chronic prior underpricing rather than a sudden new rip off.

    1. JohnJoeMahockey

      It really doesn’t. It more than likely represents a greedy landlord taking advantage of a shortage.

  5. Andy

    How was there very little talk about housing in the last election yet a new standalone ministry was established for housing?

    – Build more,
    – Build up,
    – Build better (may need to import this!),
    – Put in infrastructure (public transport & services),
    – Increase policing to keep scum bags from ruining the city center & any new large scale developments. Force the courts to sentence repeat ASBOs after the cops have arrested them (build a new prison)

    1. Fact Checker


      Planners need to get over their preciousness about high-rise and green belts. If it’s done right it’s great (go to Paris).

      Local authorities need to use their powers to CPO derelict properties, assemble sites and zone for residential use. We do not need (approximately) 10 golf courses within the M50, hundreds of sports pitches and chunks of half-empty industrial (see Nangor Road or Dublin Industrial Estate).

      1. DubLoony

        We do need sports pitches. If we have high density living, then we need facilities to go with it.
        There are 8 hectares of derelict sites in Dublin 8. They should be building 5-6 stories there.
        Some have been derelict for 30+years.

        1. Fact Checker

          I agree totally that D8 is underserved by sports pitches. Most of the rest of the city is not. Sports pitches in St Anne’s Park are unused something like 95% of daylight hours.

          Donnybrook and Ballsbridge are extremely close to the city and are peppered with rugby pitches. These are used by a select group of people and are not accessible to locals for regular activities like running, walking a dog, etc.

          Be careful not to confuse ‘open space’ with ‘amenities that can be used for the community’.

          1. rotide

            There’s a massive pitch on the northside thats used exclusively by 2 sports. It’s not accesbile to the community either. You should write to the GAA and tell them you need it back for housing.

            Or you know, stop making stupid cliched class war type statements about sports amenities.

        2. Pip

          Dublin 8 has the potential to be a city within a city – some of the transformation has already started.

    2. Clampers Outside!

      – Build better (may need to import this!)

      Will likely have to import this.
      Alan Kelly and his quick fix prefabs, and spectacular failure in attempting to introduce reductions in apartment sizes so much that they could not feasibly be built.

      Yes, we DO need to import it.
      Or…I’ll likely be laughed at for this….. give Mick Wallace the job. he knows what he’s doing more than all the other TDs put together when it comes to housing and how to approach quality homes.

      1. Kieran NYC

        I’d agree! Apparently the apartment he built are some of the few that aren’t total firetraps/crap.

  6. Fact Checker

    Rents fell by a QUARTER between 2007 and 2010. Yes they actually fell by that much. I myself went to my landlord (twice) at the time and she cut my rent by about as much rather than have to go to the market.

    The consumer price index (CPI) by contrast was more or less flat. Would today’s campaigners for rent indexation support indexation of rents to the CPI when market rents are falling more than the CPI? If not, why not?

  7. MoyestWithExcitement

    I’m fairness, surely there’s nothing wrong with giving your house to your child. Although a long notice period should be given.

  8. Lordblessusandsaveus

    Half of people responding to rental ads are non Irish. So there’s clearly a major influx of people from mostly other EU countries and this is pushing rents up and forcing out people on lower income into perilous situations.

    It’s a bit like a compost bin. The new stuff goes in the top and the old stuff comes out the bottom.

  9. Eoin

    Government needs to stay out of the property market. It’s intervention that causes the gross distortions. For example, stoking a housing bubble, as the state did caused massive distortions. NAMA causes gross distortions. And current regulation, tax etc. causes further distortions. There is a supply and demand fundamental at play here, the natural response would be to increase supply.

    1. Fact Checker

      Government is INEVITABLY involved in the housing market from how landlords are taxed to fire safety and everything in between.

      It is a question of how the regulation is done rather than its degree.

    2. ForFecksSake

      The financial crisis was caused by the state failure to regulate lending for property and lack of a housing policy.

  10. Waddy Dilson

    Don’t agree with the taking away of the landlords rights to end a tenancy based on family requirement.
    The implication of this is that a landlord could in feasibility lose his primary home and be unable to live in a property he owns.
    There should be an onus to prove a necessity to implement the right, but there is sufficient notice given in order for the tenant to seek new accommodation

    Also there is already two bodies in existence dealing with tenant rights.
    This is more People Before Profit bullsh*ttery

    Spoken as a tenant and never a landlord.

    1. Chris

      Also you’re not ‘evicted’ if your lease ends and the landlord does not want to renew it. If you have a 2year lease the landlord can through proper notice etc inform you they won’t renew it again. That is not ‘evicted’. Also afterwards the landlord can move their son in if they want to or move in their cat or even move in a travelling company of improv comedians, you have no contract or ownership so it’s not really your business anymore. Even if his son is a smarmy posh git.

    2. ForFecksSake

      Why would a landlord lose their primary home and not their rental property? They would have to be a fool to create a situation where that was possible.

  11. kiora

    Whatever the government do it will be a disaster, Bad planning, cheap building, corruption. Its gonna be a disaster because their ego is so out of wack, they have no concept of reality and no real concern for the people.

    1. Kieran NYC

      The government aren’t forcing developers to build to the minimum standard And Nothing More

      Pure greed

      1. ForFecksSake

        That’s the way it works. Standards are set and commercial businesses meet those standards. Why would they exceed them when they are simply out to make a profit. That’s how business works and policy needs to reflect that reality.

  12. Tish Mahorey

    I rented for years and then bought and since then have also rented out other properties to tenants.

    I am always walking a financial tight-rope. Rents just cover the mortgages with a small contingency for repairs.

    I understand both sides of the issue. But I have no time for landlords who have little or no mortgage on a property and rent it out at the absolute maximum while doing the minimum in terms of repairs. It’s just pure greed.

    1. Martin Heavy-guy

      “Rents just cover the mortgages with a small contingency for repairs.”

      Rents should not cover mortgages. You are getting the benefit of owning a property. It is a long-term investment – when you have paid off the mortgage you will continue to make profit (minus repairs) for a long time. The tenants do not own or have any rights to that property. They should only be subsidising a small portion of your mortgage payments. The idea that if you are lucky enough to be worthy of a mortgage from a bank you should be entitled to have someone else pay your repayments is a huge part of the growing wealth divide.

      Rent prices need to come down considerably and this attitude of getting someone else to pay for your house needs to disappear.

      1. Waddy Dilson

        Firstly, are you completely out of your mind?
        Secondly, HA!

        Watch the supply disappear completely if rents drop far below mortgage repayment rates.

        Aside from mortgage outgoings to be covered there are rates, service charges, repairs. You either do not understand how business works, or you are a communist.

          1. ollie

            1,000 rental properties a month are leaving the market due to over regulation and over taxation. That is a fact

          2. Martin Heavy-Guy

            That is a statement, not a fact: regulation is not the only reason properties are leaving the market. Although property taxes are excessive, they should have been consistently charged from during the boom, and they are making up for lost gains to the nation. That mess belongs to Fianna Fail still, and to another debate.

            As to the reasons for the market stifling, you could just as easily say that a low quantity of available housing leads to higher sale prices, higher mortgages, and as a result higher rent prices. This is controlled by the banks, who want higher interest rates to come back to them. Inflated mortgages suit that market, and hit renters again.

            You could also just as easily say “open up all those abandoned NAMA properties (that Noonan didn’t give away) to renters and allow rent prices to reduce dramatically”. But there you have it. Regulation and taxation are a small part of the problem.

    2. ForFecksSake

      Your tenants are buying you a house which will be worth more by the time they have finished buying it for you. You are not on a tightrope.

Comments are closed.