Fianna Fáil’s Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath TD has said it is not acceptable that landlords backed by the State-owned Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) are flagrantly using legal loopholes to allow it exceed the 4% annual rental increase cap.

Deputy McGrath was commenting as it emerged that a landlord, DAD Property Fund, leasing out property in Dublin after receiving over €8 million in funding from ISIF, had used loopholes in the Government’s own Rent Pressure Zone legislation to increase rents by 6% rather than the limit of 4%.

“This is a blatant attempt by the landlord to violate the spirit of the legislation and to heap even more pressure on hard pressed tenants.

“The idea that a landlord in receipt of €8m in State investment would not adhere to the 4% rule cannot be overlooked by ISIF or the Minister for Finance. The fund in question also breached tenancy law by issuing a rent review notice less than a year into the tenancies.

“The ISIF has a statutory responsibility to invest on a commercial basis in a manner designed to support economic activity and employment in Ireland.

“Fianna Fáil has long called for ISIF to get involved in supporting the housing industry. In this regard, it can have a very positive social impact. However, in this case, the public good is not served by State funding enabling landlords rip off tenants.

“The Minister must direct ISIF to ensure that they make it crystal clear to landlords they are funding that adherence to both the letter and spirit of the law is expected. ISIF now needs to ensure all other funds with residential investments it has financed are not raising rents above rent pressure zone limits.

“Agencies of the State adding fuel to the housing crisis must not be allowed to continue. The public good must trump commercial objectives when it comes to the State’s investments,” concluded McGrath.