Rent cap is welcome, but 'doesn't go far enough, says Cork TD 

New legislation will see rent increases capped at either inflation or 2% per annum
Rent cap is welcome, but 'doesn't go far enough, says Cork TD 

The new legislation, which will see rent increases capped at either inflation or 2% per annum, whichever is lower, and will also provide for tenancies of unlimited duration, was passed in both Houses of the Oireachtas and will now go to President Michael D Higgins for signing.

Politicians in Cork have welcomed new legislation that caps rent increases at 2% per year in rent pressure zone (RPZs).

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien welcomed the passing of the Residential Tenancies Bill 2021 in a statement on Thursday.

The new legislation, which will see rent increases capped at either inflation or 2% per annum, whichever is lower, and will also provide for tenancies of unlimited duration, was passed in both Houses of the Oireachtas and will now go to President Michael D Higgins for signing.

The rent increase cap will apply immediately upon enactment.

'Doesn't go far enough'

Solidarity TD Mick Barry welcomed the rent cap of 2% but said that “it doesn’t go far enough”.

Speaking to The Echo, the Cork North-Central TD said: "Obviously a rent cap of 2% is better than nothing at all but the reality is that this doesn't go far enough.

“The very minimum that is needed at this point is a three-year freeze in rents. Legislation to cut rents would be better again.

“I also oppose the loopholes which allow landlords to increase rent by more than 2% when there wasn't a rent increase in the previous year."

Calls for rent freeze 

Local Labour councillor John Maher called for a rent freeze in order to protect renters.

“Renters are already facing massive rents which are simply unaffordable. Rents have increased by 6.9% in Cork City and now average €1,544 per month.

“Myself and my partner would struggle to pay this if faced with it. Rents now need to be frozen and the Labour Party’s renters rights bill would ensure this as well as security of tenure and better standards of accommodation for renters,” he said.

The Bill was one of the reforms committed to under the Government’s Housing for All scheme, the plan “to create a sustainable housing system”.

Mr O’Brien stated: “When introducing the legislation to link any rent increases to inflation in July, I was very clear on the need to carefully monitor inflation.

“At that time, inflation averaged 0.73% per annum over the previous three years but had risen to 1.6% per annum in the year ending June 2021.

“Given the unexpectedly fast rise in the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices, I quickly moved to engage with the Office of the Attorney General and secured Government approval to introduce a 2% cap on rent increases in RPZs.” 

He added that the Bill “respects the constitutionally protected property rights of landlords and aims to safeguard continued investment in the sector by existing and new landlords to deliver the requisite supply of high-quality rental accommodation.” 

 “This legislation also addresses long-term security of tenure by introducing tenancies of unlimited duration. This is a key commitment in Housing for All, our new housing Plan for Ireland,” he said.

Minister O’Brien said that the Housing for All plan aims to deliver “18,000 cost rental homes between now and 2030” which he describes as “an ambitious but achievable target”.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more