'People power victory' as private landlord scraps rent hikes of up to 25pc
Ireland's largest private landlord has scrapped plans to hike rents by up to 25pc at a south Dublin complex following protests by tenants.
Ires Reit had planned to increase rents by as much as 25pc at the Maple development in Sandyford, south Dublin.
However, a spokesman for the company last night told the Irish Independent that the maximum rent increase would now be 4pc.
It is understood the decision was made by the firm on Saturday and it is in the process of contacting all the tenants affected.
Some had already been informed of the decision.
Tenants were first notified of the initial proposed rent hike early last week, and around 30 residents protested outside the landlord's offices.
As the development was constructed after rent control introductions in 2016, they were not subject to Government controlled rent controls which limit such increases at 4pc annually.
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, who met with protesters last week, described Ires Reit's decision to reduce its planned increase as a "people power victory".
The Dún Laoghaire TD added that loopholes which allowed a 25pc rent hike to be proposed by landlords in the first place should be closed immediately.
"People power victory. One day of protest by tenants at Beacon South Quarter against shocking rent hikes by Ires Reit and Ires backed down," he wrote on social media over the weekend.
"Tenants contacted today, rent hikes withdrawn.
"But loophole they exploited must be closed down urgently," Mr Boyd Barrett added.
The cost of accommodation rose by close to 8pc in the past year, official figures show.
The average rent nationwide is now €1,094. This is up almost €80 in the past year.
The Maple development was launched last summer and saw one-beds advertised at €1,925 and €2,570 for a two-bed apartment, with new rent hikes kicking in on January 1, 2019.