Monday 17 June 2019

Rogue landlords face jail and €30,000 penalties

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Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Rogue landlords face jail and hefty penalties of up to €30,000 for breaking strict rules on rent hikes under beefed up protection for tenants.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy will bring legislation to Cabinet today which will significantly increase the powers of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

Landlords found to be in breach of rent cap laws - which limit increases in pressure zones around the country - face a criminal sanction and a hefty penalty of up to €30,000, which would include a fine of up to €15,000 and costs of any RTB investigation of up to €15,000.

Prices in pressure zones cannot be hiked by more than 4pc in a year but housing charities have raised concerns this is not being adhered to by unscrupulous landlords.

The legislation will also tackle landlords capitalising on a loophole which allows for a person to be evicted for substantial renovations to be carried out.

A landlord also faces a criminal sanction for not adhering to a new legal definition of what qualifies as a "substantial change" to a property.

The Residential Tenancies Act already provides for a jail term of up to six months for landlords who breach the law.

Tenants will also be given longer notice periods with people living more than a year in a house being entitled to four months' notice .

Irish Independent

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