Housing charity calls for mandatory register of rents

Housing charity Threshold has said a mandatory rents register must be established to root out rogue landlords who flout rental cap regulations.

The organisation says the creation of rent pressure zones — intended to make it illegal to raise rents by more than 4% per year in certain areas — could not work unless the law was enforced.

Chairwoman Dr Aideen Hayden said many renters were desperate to find a home and were willing to pay the asking price without asking too many questions.

“The current legislation doesn’t oblige a landlord to state the rent the last tenant paid when they are checking out a property,” she said.

“A measure such as an Residential Tenancies Board-managed rent register, recording every change of rent, would benefit all, as it would hold landlords to account and arm tenants with the details they need to make an informed choice.”

The charity was one of many to react with dismay at the latest rent prices report from property website Daft.ie that showed rents have risen 11.8% since this time last year and were now the highest on record, while the number of properties available to rent has also fallen to an all-time low.

Peter McVerry said the Government’s belief that the private sector would meet the demand for accommodation was completely ill-founded.

“The private rented sector is the problem at the moment, not the solution. The people coming into homelessness are coming from the private rented sector and are being evicted from it,” he said. “I think we have a catastrophe coming and this Government does not recognise that.”

The Simon Communities said the private rental market needed much stronger regulation to tackle the crisis and provide tenants with security of tenure.

“We need measures which impact all tenancies and limit rent increases within all tenancies,” said spokeswoman Niamh Randall.

“Full rent certainty and security of tenure are the building blocks for a stable rental sector and we renew our call for their urgent introduction.” She said rent rises for all tenancies should be index-linked to ensure they do not exceed inflation.

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