Paul Melia: Families are left in limbo by this deal
Another day of chaos and uncertainty for families caught in the impasse between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.
While the two main parties spent much of yesterday in heated discussions over the form of rent controls to be introduced, housing charities were inundated with queries from tenants about what might happen to them.
Those living outside Dublin and Cork cities may have been the first affected with hikes - but tenants in Limerick, Galway, Waterford and commuter towns will be left wondering if they will face steep increases before these areas are designated as rent pressure zones in mid-January.
What a mess. And as one expert noted, a large part of the problem was the lack of legislation to accompany the measures outlined by Housing Minister Simon Coveney. It meant that landlords and tenants were largely left guessing as to what the implications might be, and many acted to increase rents in advance of a final decision.
"This is an unusual process for the Government and I suspect there's a bit of a political game going on here," head of the School of Surveying and Construction Management at DIT, Tom Dunne, said. "In the past, a proposal for a rent certainty measure would have seen something being published, then a bill, and you would know what we were talking about. This is a bit ambiguous."
There are major questions surrounding the fairness of the measures proposed, particularly as many areas across the country have seen rent hikes of 7pc or more in four of the last quarters, meeting one of the two criteria to be designated as 'rent pressure zones'. For many, a review of how areas are assessed in June next year can't come soon enough.