Earlier this week it was announced that the government is set to introduce new measures to crack down on troublesome neighbours.
Under the new proposals, there will also be penalties for landlords who fail to act on complaints.
The new laws will make it easier for homeowners and residents’ groups to register complaints without fear of intimidation.
Minister of State with responsibility for Housing Jan O’Sullivan said that, under the initiative, all complaints will be lodged with the Residential Tenancy Board, which will force landlords to take action against troublesome tenants or face penalties.
The laws will speed up and strengthen the board’s current system of dealing with anti-social behaviour and intimidation, which is seen as slow, bureaucratic, and lacking teeth.
The changes will also mean people can avoid making complaints about their neighbours to gardaí, who can only act if a criminal offence is committed.
Anti-social behaviour, intimidation, or noise from neighbours is a particular problem in areas of mixed housing provision, for example, where local authority houses are increasingly mixed with privately-owned houses or areas near colleges with student accommodation beside family homes.
Up to now, any complaints had to be brought by individuals, who risked being intimidated or threatened for doing so. However, under the new plans, complaints can be made by groups such as residents’ associations, meaning no individual is identified.
In revealing the government’s plans Ms O’Sullivan said that anti-social behaviour in residential areas, and difficulties in dealing with it, is a huge issue.
The Limerick TD will introduce the changes through an amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act, which is currently going through the Oireachtas. She decided to do so after a number of TDs raised the need for stronger measures during discussions on the bill last month.
During those discussions, Galway West Labour TD Derek Nolan said a couple in their 70s in his constituency had to sell their privately-owned home because they had no mechanism to deal with unruly neighbours.
This week we ask your opinion on anti-social behaviour and ask you to have your say in the comments section below…
- Have you experienced it?
- What have you done to sort it?
- Is it a major problem?
- And is the government’s latest initiative going to help improve things.