A Sinn Féin TD has raised concerns that some landlords could use retrofitting as a way of dodging rules around rent hikes.
Earlier this month, the Government announced a major retrofitting scheme aimed at slashing the price of home energy upgrades.
The €8bn scheme will run until 2030, with homeowners able to get grants of up to €25,000 for a deep retrofit.
Funding will also be provided for homeowners who want to do smaller upgrades or a series of upgrades over time.
However, Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster told Newstalk Breakfast she's worried some landlords will use the grants to "circumvent rent pressure zone regulations".
She said: "If a landlord is applying for the grant to carry out retrofitting - say, to improve the building’s energy rating - they can ask the tenant to move out.
“By law, he or she has to make an offer to the tenant to come back in. But he or she is not obligated to keep the rent as it was. Once you bring up the rating or carry out improvement to the home, then you’re exempt from the rent pressure zone.
“The problem is renters are exposed.”
Deputy Munster suggested renters are already being “exploited to the hilt… paying through the roof rents”.
She called on the minister to find a way to stop any such dodging of the rules and urged the minister to support her party’s policy of a blanket rent freeze.
Rent pressure zone rules mean landlords are limited in the level of rent increases they can impose in a year.
However, an exemption to the rules means the rent can be increased further when there's a major upgrade to a home's BER energy rating.
Other rental rules do allow landlords to terminate a tenancy in order to carry out 'substantial refurbishment' on a property.
The Irish Times reports that the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) chairman Tom Dunne told the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that landlords asking tenants to leave to retrofit a house is "one of the issues that might arise" out of the new retrofit scheme.
Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien has previously said he's looking at introducing a measure where the tenant must be offered the property back on the same terms if asked to leave temporarily for refurbishments.