Landlords may have to give evidence supporting rent rises

Landlords may have to give evidence supporting rent rises

Landlords seeking a rent increase might have to provide supporting evidence of rents for three comparable properties to justify the rise, under proposals being considered by the Government.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan are still in discussions about proposals to regulate rent increases in the private market.

One of the measures being examined is a requirement for landlords to provide details to justify an increase in rent.

They would be asked to show figures for three comparable properties in the area, or alternative evidence to support the increase.

Tenants would also be afforded the option to provide similar data if they wished.

The two Ministers are also discussing longer notice periods for rent increases. The current period is 28 days, but this may be increased to three months to allow tenants more time to assess their options.

Senior Labour sources said this was not a compromise on rent certainty, but was one of the measures being examined.

Other Government sources said Ministers were examining other proposals in this area to allow Mr Kelly to “save face”.

“There will be no rent certainty. Alan Kelly is the only person proposing rent certainty. It is time to look at other measures now,”said one source.

It is understood Mr Kelly issued his Cabinet colleagues with a warning about the need for action on the housing crisis.

He told a meeting on Tuesday morning the situation was escalating at a rapid pace and there were now situations emerging where people were sleeping rough and going to work the next day.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Kelly said rent was the biggest issue in preventing homelessness.

“Something will have to be done in relation to rent, and I am quite confident something will happen. There is a lot of discussion in relation to rent certainty and certainly this is an issue I have said I am publicly in favour of.

“There are measures in relation to rent regulation that have to be dealt with.

“There are a number of other issues with regards to how landlords are behaving that I believe need to be dealt with. They are being discussed at the moment.”

Mr Kelly insisted the Labour Party was fully behind his proposal to link rent increases to the consumer price index.

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