Thursday 30 March 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Rents can only be hiked every two years under new laws

Environment Minister Alan Kelly
Environment Minister Alan Kelly

Niall O'Connor and Kevin Doyle

Landlords will only be allowed to hike rents every 24 months under the Government’s plan to tackle the housing crisis, Independent.ie can exclusively reveal tonight.

The long running battle between Environment Minister Alan Kelly and the Department of Finance over how to tackle spiralling rents has ended.

Mr Kelly has agreed to give up on his plan to link rent increases to inflation in return for tougher regulations on landlords who are trying to increase prices or evict tenants.

Currently a tenant can see their rent raised every 12 months but this is set to be doubled.

The final package of measures is still being finalised but the new rules about rent hikes will be central to it.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Mr Kelly said: “The level of increases in rent, particularly in the greater Dublin area and, to a lesser extent, Cork and Galway, presents a serious challenge.  Any decision on this issue is a matter for the Government and it is my intention to bring proposals to same in the near future.”

He defended his handling of the crisis, saying that supply is the major problem but would take years to fix.

“If there is enough supply, people have options in the market and rents will not be as high.  In the long term, the most important issue is private and public supply,” he said.

“Construction is the only sector in the country that has not repaired itself.  Once it has undergone that process, there will also be supply on the private side, but it will take more time.  The Government is considering a number of measures to address the lag in supply that will exist in the coming years.”

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