Landlords call rent controls a 'death knell' - while tenants warn they don't go far enough

Minister Simon Coveney hopes to have these measures introduced before Christmas...

The Government's plan to limit rental prices in key 'Pressure Zones' in Cork and Dublin has been cautiously welcomed by some tenant groups and criticised by landlords.

Minister Simon Coveney has unveiled plans to limit rent increases which he wants to turn into law before Christmas.

Both cities will be designated as rent ‘Pressure Zones’ with landlords only permitted to increase payments by up to 4% per year over the next three years.

The Property Owners' Association (IPOA) has called on the Government to review its decision - it argues that the rent control measures will "further deplete the supply of properties as property owners withdraw units" as they will not be able to afford to manage or maintain properties.

The statement adds that "rather than playing politics, face reality and listen to the practitioners in the sector and encourage supply."

"Gross interference in the role of the private rental sector, impose further restrictions on periods of time that rent can be increased and amounts of the increase which is not fair or equitable and moves to a point where the landlord is being forced out of the provision of accommodation for tenants as a result of interference," it continues.

The group believes that increased State interference in the market will lead to less investment in rental properties. The group described rent control as a "death knell for the private rental sector."

IMPACT leader organiser and Secure Rents campaign spokesperson Joe O’Connor also criticised the measures.

“While the Secure Rents campaign acknowledges that Minister Coveney has shown a willingness to move on rent predictability for Ireland’s 750,000 tenants, we believe these specific measures are not in themselves sufficient to assist renters across Ireland.

"While the so-called ‘pressure zone’ measures will seek to curtail the excessive rent increases projected for both Dublin and Cork, we’re greatly concerned by the apparent exclusion of other high pressure areas."

He added that the group is concerned about rapidly rising rents in Limerick City and Galway City.

The Secure Rents campaign is a partnership between a number of union groups including IMPACT, Mandate Trade Union, and SIPTU.

The Dublin Tenants Association has cautiously welcomed Simon Coveney’s measures to regulate rent increases but added that they do not believe that they go far enough.

Under Pressure

The Minister for Housing is hoping caps on rent increases for Dublin and Cork could be in place before the end of this week.

The Pressure Zones are areas where annual rent increases have been at 7% or more in four of the last six quarters - and where rent levels are already above the national average.