The national housing charity Threshold, has welcomed today’s Cabinet decision to introduce measures to address the issues of rapidly increasing rents and the undersupply of affordable housing. The measures include limiting rent increases to every two years instead of annual rent reviews, and introducing a tax incentive for landlords to take people on rent supplement payments.
There will also be an extended notice period for rent increases and a requirement, on the part of the landlord, to justify the reasonableness of rent increases. Landlords who wish to end a tenancy due to an intended sale of a property will now be asked to provide clear proof of this intention. According to Threshold, this combination of measures will significantly improve the position of vulnerable tenants in Ireland.
Speaking today, Senator Aideen Hayden, Chairperson of Threshold commented: “We are delighted to welcome today’s Cabinet decision to bring these critical rent and housing measures forward. Threshold has been increasingly concerned at the significant rise in the number of clients contacting our services who are at serious risk of homelessness due to rent increases. These measures are a vindication of Threshold’s advocacy work on behalf of the most vulnerable tenants.
“Based on Threshold’s experience of dealing with 50 callers a day who are worried about losing their homes due to unaffordable rent increases, today’s announcement goes a long way towards giving them hope for the future. As a frontline service dealing with over 20,000 families a year, we know that today’s measures will help – not only the most vulnerable tenants – but also low paid workers and families saving for a deposit for a new home. It will be a great consolation to many tenants living in fear of a rent increase, which might have led to them losing their home, that this legislation is forthcoming.
“We strongly believe that there can be no return to ‘business as usual’ when it comes to meeting the needs of the increasing number of people relying on the rented sector for their accommodation. Threshold is calling on the Government to build on today’s emergency measures and develop a comprehensive strategy for the future of the private rented sector, with input from all stakeholders. Future measures for the period beyond the two year rent freeze must include measures to link rent increases to the Consumer Price Index.”