Dáil passes all stages of legislation on 4% rent increase caps

The legislation must now go before the Seanad next Wednesday

Dáil passes all stages of legislation on 4% rent increase caps

Minister Simon Coveney talks to the media in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

The Dáil has finally passed all stages of legislation that will cap rent increases in so-called pressure zones at 4% per year.

After two days of debate the legislation finally passed by 52 votes to 43, while there was 25 abstentions.

The legislation must now go before the Seanad next Wednesday, where it is not clear it can pass if Fianna Fáil Senators follow their Dáil colleagues and abstain.

Fianna Fáil originally objected to the cap, requesting that controls be extended beyond Cork and Dublin.

Meanwhile, a group of up to 5,000 landlords said they'll pull out of a state rent scheme and introduce a raft of new charges for tenants.

The Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA) said its response to the new rental strategy legislation will be to make tenants pay charges for car parking, letting costs, registration fees, service charges and more.

Fianna Fáil's called for the association to be referred to the competition authority.

Fergal Scully from the Dublin Tenants Association says he wants Housing Minister Simon Coveney to ensure the extra charges are not brought in.

"When I first read the press release from the property owners I was absolutely speechless," he said. "I really think that the minister has to be really strong now at the moment and make sure it's illegal to add on these extra charges as well."

Minister Coveney said the Government were "trying to get the balance right".

"A number of people have described this as some kind of  'pro-landlord strategy', he said in the Dáil. "It doesn't look like the landlords are too happy to me. I'm not saying that as a good or a bad thing. I'm just saying we're trying to get the balance right here."

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