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Thursday 8 December 2016

Landlords will now be forced to justify rent hikes

Kevin Doyle and Niall O'Connor

Published 03/11/2015 | 02:30

Alan Kelly has accepted that proposals to link increases in rent to the Consumer Price Index are dead
Alan Kelly has accepted that proposals to link increases in rent to the Consumer Price Index are dead

Landlords will find it harder to raise rents and evict tenants, under new moves aimed at ending the Coalition row over housing.

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Environment Minister Alan Kelly's proposals to cap rents in line with inflation are now completely dead.

But a compromise in the Coalition spat over a long-awaited housing package will see landlords having to justify rent increases, by proving the costs are in line with the market in the area.

And landlords will also have to give tenants longer notice periods.

At present, tenants who have lived in the same property for four years or more must be given a minimum of 112 days' eviction notice.

However, under Department of Environment proposals, notice periods would be set at:

Five/Six years - 140 days;

Six/Seven years - 168 days;

Seven/Eight years - 196 days;

Eight or more years - 224 days.

The plan is also believed to propose a requirement that landlords would have to provide tenants with evidence that rent hikes are justified.

Under the scenario, landlords would have to produce the rent costs charged by three owners of similar properties in the area to justify the move.

Tenants would be entitled to demand such material when hit with a rent hike and take their landlords to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) to seek redress if suitable evidence was not provided.

Mr Kelly met Finance Minister Michael Noonan for more than an hour yesterday, with sources on both sides describing the exchange as "positive" and "constructive".

However, the Environment Minister won't get his proposals for rent certainty across the line.

Irish Independent

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