Tuesday 20 March 2018

Major new plan to target spiralling rents to be unveiled by Government

Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly

Niall O’Connor and Philip Ryan

THE Coalition is close to unveiling a major new plan aimed at tackling spiralling rent bills, Independent.ie can reveal.

The package, which is aimed at finally introducing “rent certainty” for tenants, is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks.

But there remains a number of sticking points between Fine Gael and the Labour Party over so-called rent control measures, as well as the prospect of tax incentives for landlords who enter into long term rent agreements.

A senior Labour source said the party is still “trying to convince” Fine Gael on the merits of new rent control legislation.

“It could be done if the Taoiseach agreed with it,” said a senior Labour source.

However, a major suite of rent measures aimed at tackling spiralling rents is close to completion, sources told independent.ie.

Among the measures on the cards include extending the notice period for introducing a rent hike, as well as placing a requirement on landlords to produce details of three comparable properties in order to justify an increase.

Independent.ie understands that a central component of the rent plans, being led by Environment Minister Alan Kelly, will be a major beefing up of tenants' rights through regulatory measures.

This is expected to include extending the notice period for rent increases to three months - allowing tenants more time to assess their options and seek alternative accommodation.

Such a move would also give a tenant greater manoeuvrability to "collate data" if they wish to seek a review into the rent hike.

But sources any the prospect of introducing tax incentives for landlords who enter into long-term rent agreements with tenants is the subject of further discussions with Fine Gael.

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