Rent ‘certainty’ measures set to go before cabinet

Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s long-awaited rent ‘certainty’ measures designed to tackle spiralling prices will go before cabinet in the coming weeks.

The Department of Environment confirmed last night the move is imminent, just 24 hours after Fianna Fáil launched its own rental plans and before a series of Sinn Féin protests on homelessness today.

In a statement responding to comments from Labour senator Aideen Hayden yesterday that rent certainty measures will be in place “by October”, the department confirmed that Mr Kelly “intends to bring proposals to cabinet in the coming weeks” which will “include legislative proposals”.

Ms Hayden, who is also chair of housing agency Threshold, had earlier told RTÉ radio “we will see rent control [meaning ‘rent certainty’] legislation in October of this year”.

The rent certainty plans were first put forward by Mr Kelly during Labour’s party conference in February.

While they are intended to block landlords from unfairly increasing prices landlords have hit back, saying it is unconstitutional.

As previously reported by the Irish Examiner, the Environment Minister’s plans will include moves to link rent rises with inflation and ensure any rises above the consumer price index only take place if the property has been upgraded.

They will also involve measures to prevent landlords increasing costs without showing three comparable properties in the same area with higher rates, and to extend the rent rise notice period to three months.

Labour sources last night claimed they are still trying to convince Fine Gael to sign up to the plans, a suggestion some believe is an attempt to publicly bolster the junior coalition partner’s standing with its core vote after this week’s row over the €100 water conservation grant.


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