'Eviction notices are being handed out like confetti' - protesters occupy Residential Tenancies Board office
A group of housing activists took over a tribunal hearing at the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) this morning.
Members of the Take Back The City housing activist group marched to the RTB offices on D’Olier Street in Dublin with a list of demands for the board.
The occupation, which sought to raise awareness for the case of a recently evicted family, took place during a scheduled tribunal hearing shortly after 10.30am today.
Chanting "homes are for people, not for profit", members of the campaign group listed out their demands at the interrupted tribunal.
One demand said that "adjudicators or tribunal members that have property interests should not be allowed to have decision making powers within the RTB".
In a tribunal hearing at the RTB, appeals are decided by three tribunal members appointed by the board, one of which acts as the chairperson of the board.
The others, who come to a decision after hearing the dispute and evidence, are members of the Dispute Resolution Committee.
Take Back The City campaigners also called for a licensing system for all landlords, the removal of "legislative loopholes that allow landlords to evict", and an immediate ban on evictions.
The final call from the group suggested that an independent rental board should be set up.
People Before Profit TD Mick Barry, who attended the occupation, said he believes that handing out eviction notices should come to an end.
"It’s about the opposition of the eviction of the family, but it’s also about more that. Notices to evict are being handed out like confetti, and the RTB are allowing quite a few of them to be carried out.
"That needs to be stopped, we shouldn’t be evicting people in difficult situations."
One attendee said he was at the occupation to protest against people of power that are also landlords.
"Landlords have too much power, the tenants are getting less power all the time," he told Independent.ie.
"I’ve never seen a homelessness crisis like this, and it’s caused by greed."
The activists previously occupied properties in Dublin city centre in protest over Ireland's housing crisis.
A spokesperson for the RTB told Independent.ie that they are "engaging with representatives from the group".
"We are listening carefully to the views they are expressing and the questions they are raising," they said.
"We would reiterate, that our mission in the RTB is always to protect the rights of tenants and of landlords."
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