Wednesday 22 November 2017

Blame game erupts within government over growing housing controversy

Outgoing Environment Minister Alan Kelly. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Outgoing Environment Minister Alan Kelly. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A blame game has erupted between two government departments over who is responsible for addressing the plight of the Tyrellstown residents.

Outgoing Environment Minister Alan Kelly is coming under major pressure amid concerns that further families are at risk.

But his officials have claimed the responsibility for issues in the West Dublin estate rests with the Department of Finance and the Central Bank.

In correspondence seen by the Irish Independent, the Department of the Environment insists that the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) has drafted a code of conduct to deal with situations whereby tenants find themselves at the centre of receivership or repossession proceedings.

However, it has also emerged that several of the country's financial institutions have not signed up to the PRTB code, which remains in draft form.

Mr Kelly's officials say the Department of Finance and the Central Bank should put pressure on banks to comply.

"It is important that where properties are the subject of impending proceedings, that tenants are given proper 'Notice of Termination' so that they can look for new rented accommodation; that security deposits are returned to enable tenants to move on, thus reducing the risk of such tenants ending up in crisis/emergency accommodation," the correspondence states.

"Ultimately, however, the primary regulatory relationship governing the operations of these types of investment funds comes under the remit of the Central Bank and the Minister for Finance," it adds.

A spokesman for Michael Noonan rejected the claims.

"I understand the Central Bank are not involved in this matter as it is a matter between tenants and landlords and the (Department of) Environment is the lead there," he said

The spokesman added that the Department of Finance had "moved to protect those whose loans may be sold to funds or persons other than the originator".

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business