THERE are no immediate plans in place to deal with the “anomaly” that currently leaves 1,200 renters in the Carrigaline area unprotected from massive rent hikes.
The confirmation from the Department of Housing comes after Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire sought to clarify the situation.
Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath previously told The Echo that new legislation would be brought this autumn to rectify the issue.
Speaking at the time, the Fianna Fáil TD said: “I am aware of the issue, it can be traced back to when Carrigaline was divided into two separate Local Electoral Areas (LEAs).
“The Government is planning on introducing new rental legislation in the autumn and this issue will be dealt with as part of the legislation. This anomaly will be addressed.”
Mr Ó Laoghaire also sought to introduce a bill in the Dáil in March that would protect renters in Carrigaline, Ballygarvan, and Crosshaven from uncontrolled rent hikes, which Mr McGrath welcomed.
Mr Ó Laoghaire has since queried through parliamentary question the proposed new legislation with Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien, who said there were no developments in relation to the loophole that allowed unrestricted rent increases in certain areas of Carrigaline.
In his response, Mr O’Brien said: “I have no plans to amend the RPZ designation criteria under the Residential Tenancies Acts at this time. My Department and the RTB keep the operation of the Acts under constant review, with a view to introducing any necessary legal change.”
Mr Ó Laoghaire said the Government was talking out of both sides of its mouth.
“There is clearly a problem in the Carrigaline area, one that Darragh O’Brien doesn’t seem to get, which is frustrating and disappointing. We need to get him to play ball,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Department of Housing said: “Minister McGrath has raised this specific issue with Minister O’Brien. The operation of the rental market legislation will be kept under constant review and any necessary changes to address any anomalies or other matters will be introduced. As stated these matters will be addressed as part of the new Residential Tenancies legislation, heads of which are under preparation and is due to be published this Autumn.”
However the spokesperson said that Carrigaline LEA did not satisfy the criteria for designation as a RPZ.
“At the moment, while rental inflation in the Carrigaline LEA has been above the Non-GDA Standardised Average Rent of €1,058.95, the LEA has only been above 7% in 2 of the last six quarters, thereby not satisfying the criteria for designation as an RPZ at this time.”
Despite this, the department said the issue was being kept under consideration.
“The Housing Agency and the RTB will continue to monitor this carefully and if the Carrigaline LEA meets the designation criteria it will be designated as an RPZ. As stated at the outset these matters will be considered as part of the new Residential Tenancies Bill due in the autumn.”