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Government plan falls far short of rent certainty – Ellis

6 November, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has described new plans by the government to limit rent increases to once every two years a pale shadow of Rent Certainty and said that stricter limits were need as well regulations tackle already unaffordable rents.

Deputy Ellis said:

“I welcome that the government has finally admitted that the high levels of rents and regular unjustifiable increases are part of the problem but their measures fall far short of what is needed.

“Limiting rent increases to once every two years only delays the problem and does not address the fact many tenants will have their rent increased before these rules are in place. It also does nothing to address the fact that rents have already risen by 35% under this government and so limiting increases is not enough. Delaying unaffordable rents becoming even more unaffordable will not stop families already at risk of losing their home becoming homeless in the coming months.

“The claim that rent increases will be limited to market rates are meaningless, given this vague rule already applies, but does nothing to stop increases due to the high level of demand.

“We urgently need real rent control measures which will set standard rates for size and location of accommodation. This will empower existing tenants to lower their rents through their right to review rent while forcing landlords to set fair rents on new leases.

“We must also limit rent changes to the rate of inflation and the consumer price index to ensure affordability and stability into the future. Access to affordable housing is too important to leave unregulated.

“The government’s plan is clearly an attempt to seem like they are tackling high rents while doing very little about it in reality. This will be cold comfort for tenants struggling to make rent payments fearing for their security.” 

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