Newstalk
Newstalk

13.47 17 Apr 2018


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Landlords who breach rent pressure zone caps will face criminal prosecution under new legislation.

The Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has announced a new bill aimed at giving tenants more protection.

The Rental Tenancies Act will also introduce a rent register to keep prices down and give the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) more power.

Minister Murphy has outlined the three main points of the bill.

"It's going to make it a criminal offence for landlords to breach the rent pressure zone 4% limit, it's also going to give the Residential Tenancies Board independent powers now to pursue a complaint.

"Another thing that it's going to do is introduce rent transparency into our rental market.

"And the third thing it's going to do is it's going to give greater protection and greater security of tenure to people who are renting - by giving longer notice periods that landlords have to give to them before they then serve a notice to quit".

"A step in the right direction"

The chief executive of the housing agency Threshold, John Mark McCafferty, said: "Rent transparency is a critical factor in informing perspective tenants of what they can realistically expect to pay for properties in their area.

"It gives them some choice and guidance about where they should conduct their property search, based on affordability, and means that landlords have a barometer for rent price setting.

"While the proposals being considered by Government won't call out landlords who inflate the market, it is a step in the right direction."

The group also welcomed proposals to give greater powers to the RTB to prosecute landlords.

"Up to now the onus has been on the tenant to call non-compliant landlords to account.

"Often, tenants who are in vulnerable situations - such as facing eviction - do not have the capacity to consider taking a case to the RTB.

"Ultimately, resources need to be in place at the RTB to ensure effective application of this new power," Mr McCafferty added.


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