The new rent measures explained

The new rent measures explained

Earlier this week the Government announced a series of major reforms to the private rental sector to provide rent certainty for both tenants and landlords.

‘A New Deal for Tenants’, which was unveiled by Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan on Thursday aims to provide for rent certainty measures, including increasing the rent review period from one to two years, increase noticed periods for rent reviews and much greater protections for tenants.

The reaction has been mixed since then with many people still unsure as to what exactly the changes mean.

Here we have compiled a run down on exactly how it will affect both you and the housing market in general.

What is the biggest change in the housing package announced by the Government? The most significant change is the decision to increase the rent review period from 12 months to 24 months for a four-year period. This means that anyone who has had an increase in 2015 will not face another one until 2017.

Can’t a landlord just increase the rent before this package is implemented? Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly says this legislation will be in place by the end of the month and a landlord must give 28 days before increasing rent. So it is unlikely.

At present a landlord can review the rent only once every 12 months. So anyone who has reviewed the rent on the property in the past 12 months cannot review the rent again.

The Department of the Environment has insisted any landlord who has not increased the rent in the past 12 months is precluded from increasing the rent to more than the market rate.

Are there any other measures that will help renters? Yes. The notification period for rent hikes will increase from 28 days to 90 days in the new package. Landlords will also be required to notify their tenants on how to dispute increases they deem excessive.

Landlords will also have to provide details of three properties in the area with higher rents before increasing their own.

Can’t a landlord just evict its current tenants and bring in new ones at a higher rent? No. Once a tenant has been in a property for six months, they have a right to remain there for up to four years.

Landlords will also be required to explain in writing why a property is no longer suitable to its current holders. If they claim they are selling the property or are handing it over to family, landlords will have to sign a statutory declaration confirming that intention.

If they do not, they face potential fines of up to €3,000.

Will this do anything to help the homelessness crisis? Yes and no. The rent proposals will reduce the numbers of people who are confronted with unaffordable rent increases.

However, it does little to tackle the affordability issue which is one of the reasons many face homelessness.

The Government has not increased rent supplement payments despite significant calls for it to do so.

Is it all bad news for landlords? Not necessarily. A landlord who takes tenants off the social-housing list will receive 100 per cent mortgage interest relief.

If a landlord secures an order from the PRTB for removing an antisocial tenant, they can now go to the District Court instead of the Circuit Court.

However, landlords are not happy with the proposals, with the Residential Landlords Association describing the package as a bureaucratic nightmare.

Are there any measures to increase housing supply? Minister for Finance Michael Noonan will move to introduce a once-off initiative to kick-start supply of new housing constructions at more affordable prices.

Rebates will apply to developments where a development has more than 50 units which will be priced under €300,000 in Dublin and €250,000 in Cork.

There will also be legislative changes made to the Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) provisions of the Planning and Development Acts to provide for a fast-tracking of SDZ planning schemes.

Will this be the end of the housing crisis? The Government was eager to stress this was the first of a number of measures. Housing will be a key election issue and each party will be under pressure to outline their response to the crisis.

Let us know your thoughts on the changes below…


There are 18 comments for this article
  1. eamonn Roche at 10:31 am

    I agree with you completely on this.
    its a marxist move,and has never worked in a so called free market or in communist state for that matter
    im afraid ill have to evict 3 families in 2016 because of this political stunt by the goverment
    i cannot continue to provide free houseing to the goverment at my expense.
    I forsee a complete disintigration of sociey because of this draconian tax
    why is nobody taking about this in the media and believing in the smoke screen of rent controls.

  2. Fintan at 9:03 pm

    another ill conceived poorly thought out piece or legislation. the tenants have all the power and that is why the rents start out so expensive. its discrimination that landlords only qualify for the interest relief if they take someone off the housing list. there are plenty of ppl out there just as deserving that are not on the housing list!

  3. Benny O’Reiiy at 1:35 pm

    What does a landlord get out of this that has no Mortgage, Have not raised the rent in 5 years have rented to the council for that period,
    Have paid all my taxes up to date.

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  5. Peter Grant at 3:42 pm

    I have renovated a derelict house in a rural town.

    I now provide a comfortable home for three people, I am now required to treat my gross rent as income and have to pay tax as if it was surplus income.

    The net result is; I now pay the state for the privilege of providing a home for three people and improving the quality of my Town.

    I find this government so stupid and unbelievable…The latest changes just leave me so angry..

    • Jac at 10:01 pm

      Unfortunately, most of the parties vying for election are the same – are all willing to punish landlords for their selfish and populist aim.

  6. Des at 2:09 pm

    AirBNB is looking pretty attractive. By adopting these anti landlord measures the Govt. in its brilliance have effectively reduced the housing supply, not increased it. This significantly reduces the attractiveness of renting a property for a landlord. Increase incentives to build housing / increase the supply rather than force a cap on the rent. Govt.s history in using legislation to control market forces is notable for its failure to accomplish the desired goals. And how, in God’s name, do they propose to manage the paperwork on this joke of a bill?

  7. dermot carroll at 1:12 pm

    I have 2 houses which I’ve been letting for more than 10 years. One’s neg. equity, the other’s not. I’m in the fortunate position at the moment of having position of both properties as my own family moved in to each earlier this year due to them struggling to find accommodation.
    This has always been my pension plan, as I have no other pension, but I’m thinking strongly now of putting the properties on the market, if and when my family members move on.
    My main reason for leaning in this direction, is because of the general anti landlord mentality that is growing in the political and media circles.

  8. Peter James Cresswell at 12:32 pm

    Well, that has firmed my decision. I will not be investing in the housing market in Eire.

  9. Charlesm at 10:43 am

    More anti landlord posturing by a government that exacerbated the housing “crises”. I’ve calculated that it will take me another 42 years to pay off my negative equity “investment” property rental bought in 2006.. The tax take for our glorious government on my alleged annual profit will total €160,000+ over that time. Gold Star for enterprise Mr. Noonan. Oh and BTW, I will raise rents to the absolute maximum and continue to avoid renting to the unemployed and rental allowance recipients.. When Mr Noonan and his ilk start protecting me and my property I might change my mind..

  10. Owen at 10:40 am

    As the law stands the rent can be increased and the 28day rule applies. Provided it was not increased within the past yr…one increase per yr rule. I have not increased rent for 4 yrs but now did, and up to market rent meaning 50/60% increases…my hand had been forced because if the price were to be tied into old, non market, rents I would have been doubly penalised… I have always had a personal relationship with my tenants and explained I was increasing them due to this government action.The 90 day rule can only apply after the legislation has been passed . The delays in the district court could mean that we wait 6 months to get even a date….not a trial date.. The government closed down thousands of bed sits…causing less accommodation to be available., they waste renting rooms in hotels in which whole familys live…like in the 1900s in Dublin. Does no one recall the effect rent control had on the housing market in Dublin from 1914 to the 1980s.

  11. Rob at 10:38 am

    “Pingback: The new rent measures explained | Rosalie Rodney ”

    Rosalie Rodney? What sort of freak uses a picture of Jill Meagher for their online persona???

  12. Chris at 10:26 am

    All the government have done in the short term is cost the renters. My landlord rang me 3 weeks ago to say he was putting the house on the market, putting me in a state of panic. Have lived there for 7 years, all kids in local schools etc. Yesterday i get a call from the letting agent to say he is looking for a rent increase of €150 per month and is ‘happy to fix this for 2 years’!

    The government have messed around on this issues and landlords have quickly pushed the rents up in advancce of the new changes. Personally I’m really bitter about this and will not support them in the future.

    From article above – “Can’t a landlord just increase the rent before this package is implemented? Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly says this legislation will be in place by the end of the month and a landlord must give 28 days before increasing rent. So it is unlikely”

    This is a load of rubbish, landlords have already moved to increase rents!

    • KA at 1:14 pm

      I agree Chris. Alan Kelly’s ‘answer’ was thoughtless. We are in a similar situation, have been in a property for 5 and a half years and now he wants to increase it by €150.
      PRTB say they can’t increase above the market rate of rent for that area but there’s no way to get this information so how can we prove this point?!

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