Fingal County Council, in association with the Residential Tenancies Board, is now offering training courses to help deal with the desperate housing crisis in the Dublin region, now virtually out of control.
The courses, however, are not for tenants but for landlords. The two official bodies hope to “support landlords to gain a stronger understanding of their rental rights and responsibilities” and to “equip them with the knowledge of the latest legislative changes” that affect their new or existing tenancies. This includes the crucial agenda item of “how to end a tenancy.”
Anyone who though the Residential Tenancies Board had a duty to defend or to help in any way with the rights of tenants (now a majority of the population of the greater Dublin area) would be sadly disappointed at the statement of the official spokesperson of the board, who gushed: “Landlords play a vital role in providing safe and healthy homes . . . We hope to be able to support landlords in navigating the complex regulatory framework,” such as “guiding them through a local authority inspection.”
Equally gushing was the spokesperson for Fingal County Council, who sang the praises of “the invaluable role landlords have in providing homes for tenants in private rented accommodation . . .”
Forget your prejudice against landlords and the common belief that their object is to make money out of other people’s misery: they are apparently providing a crucial public service, and one that those who are actually responsible for public services—the state and its various agencies—recoil from in horror.
The whole thing is very indicative, and particularly worrying, considering that we already have fewer rights for tenants than any other country in Europe.
It will be interesting to see whether a guide for tenants will now be dropping through letterboxes in Fingal.