Plan for three-year rent freezes for city tenants
LANDLORDS will be forced to freeze rents for up to three years under Government plans to address the spiralling cost of renting.
The new measures will see landlords asked to justify hiking rent by carrying out refurbishments or renovations on properties before increasing the price.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly, who is drafting the new rules, said tenants living in Dublin and other cities have been hit with "scandalous" rent hikes in recent years.
Speaking at the Labour Party Conference last weekend, Mr Kelly said he does not want to introduce rent controls but does want to ensure tenants have "rent certainty".
"We have a situation in some cases, landlords feel they can get away with increases in rent that are absolutely scandalous and we need to bring an end to that," he said.
"We need to bring about certainty through various different regulations and legislation - if necessary.
"It has to be done and the methodologies of how we are going to do it are going to be brought before Government.
"I say here, we will do everything we can to bring about rent certainty while supply is going to be built up for the future," he added
The minister is considering linking rent increases to inflation and the consumer price index.
The period to notify tenants of rent hikes will be increased and landlords will have to prove local rent prices have also risen before charging more.
The new rules will be brought before Cabinet shortly and Mr Kelly, who has been in talks with landlord associations, has pledged that tackling the rising cost of renting is his "number one priority".