Rent certainty: Tenants ‘to save’ up to €1,700

Tenants will be spared rent increases of up to €1,700 next year because of the Government’s new Rent Certainty laws, it was claimed last night.

County-by-county figures given to Labour TDs and senators by Environment Minister Alan Kelly show what people would expect to pay in 2016 in extra rent had the measures not been introduced.

Mr Kelly was the subject of much criticism for the ongoing housing crisis in recent days and the release of the figures is a sign of the Labour Party’s desire to capitalise on any benefit from the new measures.

Mr Kelly distributed the numbers to his party colleagues as the Dáil passed the legislation to give legal effect to the rent certainty measures yesterday.

The figures, obtained by the Irish Examiner, are based on increases in rent prices in the third quarter this year, and the savings highlighted are what the Department of the Environment reckon people would have paid next year, all things being equal.

For example, the figures claim that renters in: Dublin City Centre will save €1,656; in Cork City they will save €1,539; in Limerick City they will save €1,041 and Galway City they will save €1,271.

The lowest projected savings were €316 for those living in Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s constituency of Mayo. Heralding the passage of the laws, Mr Kelly said the new measures will “ease the pressures on many families”.

He said: “For families who were facing a rent increase next year, the longer distance between rent reviews will delay such increases for a year and ease the pressures on many families that are currently facing uncertainty due to the shortage of supply”.

Mr Kelly said research indicates that many tenants are not aware of their rights. This legislation will now place a legal obligation on landlords to notify them on how to process a dispute on excessive rent increases, tenants will now be more empowered and landlords have a disincentive to aim for the highest rent possible — as they could face a dispute which will delay their rents.

This bill also gives much greater security of tenure to families in rental accommodation, Mr Kelly said.

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen was withering in his criticism of Mr Kelly’s performance as minister. “What we have had is 18 months of inaction which has allowed a crisis become an emergency. This is welcome but it is coming very late in the day,” Mr Cowen said.

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