Rent controls needed to stop racketeering landlords
The SDLP has come under attack for fielding the head of the Landlords Association of Northern Ireland as a candidate in the local elections in South Belfast.
Paddy Meehan, who is standing for the Socialist Party in the Botanic ward of Belfast, accused the SDLP of “supporting wealthy rent-racketeering landlords” after the SDLP announced the candidature of Declan Boyle, the chairman of the Landlords Association of Northern Ireland.
Mr Meehan stated “It is clear what the SDLP stands for – Scrounging Desperately for Landlords Party. Thousands of people in South Belfast are unable to get mortgages to buy their own home and are forced to pay exorbitant rents to landlords like Declan Boyle. After paying rent and basic necessities many households are struggling to get by at the end of the month.
“Rents have soared since the housing bubble burst. The average monthly rent for private tenants in South Belfast is £687 a month – that’s more than half the income of a worker earning the minimum wage. The Socialist Party is calling for rent controls to be enforced to stop wealthy landlords from exploiting vulnerable tenants.”