Cork South-Central TD Micheál Martin has said “it is extremely disappointing but not surprising to hear that rents in Cork spiked 7% just before the Government moved in with new regulations on rent increases after months of dithering.”
Deputy Martin said “this will be met with huge frustration by tenants and it was entirely predictable and avoidable. Simply because of infighting between Alan Kelly and Michael Noonan landlords had time to pre-empt any measures from Government to apply rent increases in rent months ahead of the new regulations. Eight months passed after Minister Kelly announced at the Labour Party conference that he was going to tackle rent increases before there was any agreement at Government level about what to do.
“The latest report from Daft.ie recorded rents rising by 7% in Cork in three months – by far the largest three month increase seen in 10 years.
“The measures brought forward by the Government could also encourage landlords to get rid of their current tenants in order to hike up rents for new tenants before signing a two year rent agreement. These compromise measures create the worst of both worlds. They fail to introduce measures to restrict rent increases between tenancies which mean current tenants are in jeopardy.
“Amid weeks of bickering and ministers briefing against each other in the media we pointed out that the government’s proposals could entice landlords to disproportionately increase rents in the short term, before new regulations kick-in. Unfortunately this has turned out to be the case.
“Minister Kelly is very fond of telling tenants who encounter problems to refer cases to the Private Residential Tenancies Board. However what the Minister conveniently leaves out is that he’s effectively doubled the workload for the PRTB and cut staff by 46% over the last four years. This is totally unacceptable and tenants and landlords deserve better from the Government.”