Friday 23 August 2019

Rents set for two years as Kelly folds

Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly

Niall O'Connor and Kevin Doyle

Landlords will be blocked from hiking rents more frequently than once every two years under the long-awaited housing plan, the Irish Independent has learnt.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly has backed down from his proposal to link rent increases to inflation through the Consumer Price Index.

Instead, he has been forced to settle for a watered-down version of 'rent certainty'.

The much-delayed plan will bring in new regulations stating rents can only be hiked every two years.

"This is about giving tenants breathing space and ensuring they are no longer hit with year-on-year rent hikes," said a senior Government source said.

The package, which will be signed off by the Coalition next week, also contains incentives for landlords who take families off the social housing list.

The Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) is to become the "market watchdog".

The package also includes increasing the notice periods for evicting tenants, requiring landlords justify rent hikes and tougher laws aimed at tackling rogue tenants.

Fianna Fáil’s spokesman on the environment has described the new proposals as “a sop” after “a prolonged, protracted and pseudo war”.

“This will negatively impact on families in rented accommodation in the short term and landlords will evict quicker now than ever as they know demand is there,” he said.

“Landlords have already increased rent by 25 to 30pc and will in the short term increase it more before any freeze sets in .

"Unfortunately AK47 and this government have been shooting blanks at this issue and families will suffer when all the publicity and fanfare dies down.”

Irish Independent

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