Kelly pledges to make it tougher for landlords to increase rent

Wexford Rentals & Property Management has read that the Government is considering new measures to make it more difficult for landlords to increase rent.

Wexford Rentals & Property Management has read that plans are expected to be brought in by the Department of the Environment will see a major beefing up of tenants’ rights. Among the measures being examined are a requirement on landlords to produce details of three comparable properties to justify their attempt to increase rent. It is understood that Environment Minister Alan Kelly is also considering extending the notice period for introducing a rent increase to three months in a bid to give tenants more time to assess the market. The plan also involves providing tenants with greater details of their tenancy rights and allowing more flexibility for tenants to challenge rent increases deemed excessive. The measures on the table are aimed at ensuring that landlords do not attempt to hike rents based solely on trends in the property market.

Wexford Rentals & Property Management understands that Mr Kelly said this week that measures introduced must respond to the concerns of families facing rent hikes. He told the Irish Independent that he was determined to ensure that rent bills did not go beyond “acceptable” levels. Mr Kelly said he was examining “what other measures could we take to ensure they (tenants) have rent certainty that rent will not be increased to a level beyond which is acceptable and expected. We need to especially look at the issue of families, which would be a big issue for me. The rental market is a huge concern. From an immediacy point of view, that is the biggest issue. My department in particular is prioritising this year. Everything is on the table, we are looking at everything. There are a number of measures we are looking at in the coming week.”

Mr Kelly was cautious about using phrases such as ‘rent cap’ or ‘rent control’, adding that such measures could run into legal issues.
“There are other ways, there are other issues. Certainly, looking into that space, we could see how tenants could be protected more,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Kelly said he was confident that the government could address the major housing shortage across the country.
He said that the €3.8bn housing plan would focus on increasing supply. “We need to create supply quickly. That’s a huge task. But that’s what the €3.8bn is for.”

Niall O’Connor