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Government rent measures welcome but far too weak – Ellis

10 November, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has welcome new regulations on rent announced by the government but said they are far too weak, far too late and do not constitute a real rent freeze. He was responding to an announcement by the government that rent reviews would now be limited to a two yearly basis along with some other measures aimed at dealing with the rent crisis.

Deputy Ellis continued;

"I've been calling for rent control and rent certainty for over years, the Minister himself mentioned a need for this in January. Why have we waited so long for so little? In the meantime many people have become homeless due to rising rents and many others are now at risk of losing their home due to already unaffordable rents.

“The government plans do not amount to a rent freeze as claimed for many tenants. New tenancies will be not be limited and anyone that has not received a rent increase in the last 12 months will now likely be facing a large hike because the government has done nothing to limit how much increases can be apart from harking back to existing regulations which have failed utterly.

“I welcome limits on the frequency of rent reviews and new punishments for landlords using evictions to put up the rent but it is simply not enough to be truly effective. We need to immediately tackle unaffordable rents with rent control measures which set a local standard rate based on size of accommodation and tie rent levels to inflation and the Consumer Price Index.

“Increases in Housing Assistant Payment rates in some counties are welcome for families struggling to find rental accommodation, but without proper controls on rent levels there is no guarantee this will be enough. Tax breaks announced for landlords who already get large sums in Rent Supplement and Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) payments, is not a solution.”

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