herald

Thursday 18 October 2018

TD hoping to protect deposits and put stop to 'daylight robbery'

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock says his Bill will help create a fairer housing market
Fine Gael TD Noel Rock says his Bill will help create a fairer housing market

Legislation aimed at protecting home buyers from losing deposits if their loan approval application fails will be presented to the Dail in the coming months.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock, who represents Dublin North-West, said his Bill - which he will present when the Dail reconvenes - will protect the buyer from losing their deposit.

He has also called on developers to not accept deposits unless they see documentation proving loan approval.

Risk

"As it stands, should a buyer's loan approval fail, they risk losing their deposit, which could be up to €20,000," Mr Rock said.

"Buyers could stand to lose their deposit if they do not have this clause included, which in the last year more developers have become reluctant to include.

"We need to do what is right by the purchaser in such cases and we need to act now to help them.

"We are allowing developers to get away with, as some might see it, daylight robbery.

"It's quite clear that the market is moving in an upward direction, so holding on to a prospective buyer's deposit and cashing in on a likely higher house price in the future strikes me as an advantageous situation for developers.

"The reality is, they should either be accepting deposits in good faith, or not accepting deposits at all without loan approval - one or the other.

"They should not be pitting people, who are mostly first-time buyers, against each other by enticing them to make offers without approval, while simultaneously not offering them the ability to redeem their deposit should it not work out.

"Many new-builds going on the market may not be ready for some time, in some cases up to two years.

"However, loan approval may only last for a period of three to four months.

"I appreciate this is far from the most pressing matter in the housing crisis but the Government must ensure that it protects the buyer, prioritises fairness and doesn't let hard-working people - mostly first-time buyers - face the prospect of losing a deposit."

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