By Dominic McGrath, PA
Proposed legislation that would cap rent increases to a maximum of 2 per cent will be brought to Cabinet this week, the Minister for Housing said.
Darragh O’Brien said that the proposed legislation will be brought to a meeting of the Cabinet on Thursday.
It will cap rent increases at 2 per cent or the level of inflation as measured by the harmonised index of consumer prices, whatever is lower.
Mr O’Brien was speaking at the launch of a new campaign in Grand Canal Dock to raise awareness of tenants’ rights.
The campaign, to be launched by housing charity Threshold, is intended to highlight the support that exists for private renters in Ireland amid the broader housing crisis facing the country.
The charity is hoping to reach a range of vulnerable renters, including students and new immigrant communities renting in Ireland.
“Obviously right now and we’ve seen it over the last few months in particular, we’ve seen rents continue to increase,” Mr O’Brien said.
He described the proposed legislation as a “significant change, a significant move” by the Government.
The Department of Housing is backing the campaign by Threshold and Mr O’Brien said it was a hugely important issue.
“It is so important people know what their entitlements are,” he told reporters.
A Threshold survey of 500 renters, aged between 18-44, suggested that 43 per cent of them had experienced unfair rent increases.
Almost one in three said they had experienced discrimination when renting.
John-Mark McCafferty, CEO of Threshold, said on Tuesday: “Threshold’s mission is to solve housing problems and prevent homelessness by offering urgent solutions to private renters who may be experiencing issues with their tenancy.”
“With one in three private renters saying they cannot afford their current rent, this campaign highlights several issues that have been identified by Threshold as the most common and urgent problems facing tenants in Ireland including evictions, unfair rent increases, persistently poor rental standards and more.”
Mr O’Brien said that he hoped that the legislation would be ready before the end of the year, if approved by Cabinet.
He said the legislation would give certainty to “tenants and landlords alike”.