New rules aim to prevent rents being set above market rent

Landlords seeking increases will be obliged to provide evidence of rents for comparable properties

New rules aim to prevent rents being set above market rent

Minister Alan Kelly |

Landlords seeking to increase rent will have to provide evidence of prevailing rates for comparable properties under new rules coming into effect next week. 

Another raft of provisions from the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 will apply from 9 May after the signing of their commencement order today. 

The rules mean landlords planning to hike rental prices will have to provide tenants with details of rents for three comparable properties.

Landlords will be required to show figures for three properties of similar size and type in a comparable area, published within four weeks before the date of the notice.

The new provisions also require that notice of rent increases include details of the dispute resolution procedures available through the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

Stronger verification arrangements to prevent unfair tenancy terminations are among the other safeguards included.

From next week, a landlord will have to issue a legal declaration if they wish to sell their property, or require it for themselves or a family member.

The move aims to end the practice whereby landlords tell tenants a dwelling is being sold only to pass it on to higher-paying residents. 

Existing legislation allows tenants to complain to the RTB if their tenancy has been terminated on the grounds that their landlord intends to sell the dwelling, but does not.

The new rules build on a number of measures already introduced under the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015, including increased notice periods for rent reviews

Minister for Environment Alan Kelly said the requirements will guard against landlords falsely claiming that the property is needed for a family member, or that it is going to be sold.

"The new measures will ensure that all parties are aware of their rights and the consequences of any infringement of those rights," he said.

"This will assist in protecting tenants from illegal rent increases and will act to discourage landlords from breaking the law."