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Questions on Promised Legislation | Rent Increases

15 July 2021

Deputy Bacik:

I join the Leas-Cheann Comhairle in expressing thanks to all the staff and on behalf of Labour I wish staff, Members and colleagues a well-earned break.

Last week the Oireachtas passed the Residential Tenancies (No. 2) Bill to provide for the linking of rent increases with the rate of inflation. Since then a number of cases have come to my attention and the attention of my colleague, our housing spokesperson, Senator Moynihan, of landlords issuing notices to tenants of rent reviews in advance of the new rules coming into effect. For example, a tenant has been given notice of a rent review to take place under previous rent-pressure zone, RPZ, limits and there are reports of landlords seeking to implement 4% rent increases, including from constituents in my home constituency in Dublin Bay South. Many renters have been in contact with me seeking clarity as to the legality of such a move. I ask the Tánaiste to confirm whether this practice is legal and whether guidance has been provided to the Residential Tendencies Board. Is it legal for landlords to serve notice for rent increases, which are not due to come in for months, above the rate of inflation to get around these measures?

An Tánaiste Varadkar:

I will check up on that issue. As the House will be aware, the legislation links future rent increases to the consumer price index, CPI, but it is not retrospective. Legislation of this nature cannot be. I understand the point of the Deputy is raising and I will get advice from the Minister as to whether what she describes is legal.