Kelly says 'controls' not the answer
Measures to tackle the out-of-control rental sector will be brought to Cabinet before the summer recess, but rent controls are not expected to be considered as part of that package, according to Environment Minister Alan Kelly.
He was speaking at yesterday's Generation Rent conference on the private rental market, and said he accepted rent was "a very serious issue".
He said the current problems were a result of "years pursuing policies that simply weren't the correct ones" and added that €4bn had been secured for the development of social housing.
He added that he did not necessarily believe long-term rent controls were the answer to the problem and said the Government would focus efforts on bringing "rent certainty" to the market.
Measures are likely to include linking increases in rent with changes in the consumer price index. Housing charities have also called for the Minister to have the power to set initial rates in areas of high demand and low levels of supply.
"I'll be bringing in proposals to the Government certainly before then (the summer recess) and there's a number of areas on the renting side that we're looking at," Mr Kelly said after the event.
"Rent certainty is one of them. Certainly we're looking at other regulatory changes and also from an enforcement point of view working through the local authorities."
Asked about controls, he said "in the long term" it shouldn't be necessary to bring them in.
He added: "As a society, we need to really look at renting and people who choose to rent need to be protected. It needs to be an option for people."
He said an idea to introduce an 'NCT-style' assessment of houses to ensure accommodation is up to standard was "interesting" and said he would "consider it".