THERE are concerns that some tenants in rent pressure zones (RPZs) such as Cork could be facing up to an 8% hike in rents.
It comes amid suggestions that if a landlord carries out a rent review for the first time in two years, they can retrospectively apply the 4% increase from last year given that rents were frozen during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means a total increase of 8% could be on the cards.
The ban on rent increases that applied during the pandemic is being lifted fully by the Government in July.
Cork North Central Solidarity TD Mick Barry has called for the immediate closing of the loophole which he said will allow landlords in Cork City to increase rents by around €100 a month when that happens, given that average rents in the city stand at €1,252 per month.
Mr Barry said: “Rent increases of more than €100 a month would be crippling for many Cork renters and must not be allowed to happen.
“At a minimum this loophole must be closed.
“Better again, the national rent freeze should be reintroduced so that the already record-high rents are not allowed to rise any further at all.”
People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy raised the issue in the Dáil this week.
“Tenants are being told that rather than a 4% increase in the RPZs, they can face up to an 8% increase as landlords are allowed to impose last year’s 4% as well,” Mr Murphy said.
He questioned why landlords would be allowed to do this, and added that one woman who contacted him would not be able to afford to pay.
In response, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar admitted he wasn’t aware that this was the case but said he would “check that out”.
He added that he “didn’t envisage that people would be able to apply [the 4%] retrospectively.
“An 8% increase, for anyone, is a very big increase in any one year. I admit to not being aware of that, so I will certainly talk to the minister [for housing] about that.”