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Emergency legislation needed to prevent potential 8% hike in rent increases – Geoghegan

30 May 2021

A resolution in the form of emergency legislation is required to prevent a potential 8% hike in rent increases when emergency Covid measures come to an end in July, according to Fine Gael bye election candidate in Dublin Bay South James Geoghegan.

Councillor Geoghegan, who represents the Pembroke electoral area, said: “I am alarmed by the revelation today that tenants in the rental accommodation sector could potentially face a double rent increase of 8% when measures providing for a temporary ban on evictions and a rent freeze that were implemented during Covid-19 are due to end in July.

“The Planning and Development, and Residential Tenancies, Act 2020  provided no rent increases were permitted during a new ‘emergency period’, from 11 January 2021 until 12 July 2021, for tenants with rent arrears due to Covid-19 and at risk of losing their tenancy who make the necessary declaration.

“However, the maximum rent increase is 4% per annum in Rent Pressure Zones, irrespective of the emergency legislation. It has emerged that a total of increase of 8% can apply where a landlord carries out a rent review for the first time in 2 years in a Rent Pressure Zone.

“High rental costs are a particular challenge for young people and families in my own constituency of Dublin Bay South which must be addressed.

“We must create a fair system for tenants which gives them long-term security of tenure and improves affordability, which is something I am committed to delivering.

“I understand that Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien and his Department is working on legislation to replace the current Rent Pressure Zone system which expires at the end of the year, and will give broader protections.

“However, the Minister must resolve this loophole as a matter of urgency and ensure that renters do not face a double increase when the emergency legislation is lifted in July,” Councillor Geoghegan concluded.