Focus Ireland Statement on Latest Report

Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy Mike Allen said: “This is the largest annual increase in rents ever recorded in the Report and shows the rental market was spiralling out of control right up until the time that rent controls were introduced.”

“This is the clearest indication possible that the Government action on rent control was long overdue and that leaving things to market forces would have resulted in more misery for tens of thousands of people. While the Government has taken some action by introducing the rent pressure zones to try and ease rising rents it is still unclear if this will be enough or indeed have any real impact.”

He added: “Our frontline staff are already dealing with cases where some unscrupulous landlords are ignoring the new rent cap and hiking up the rent while telling tenants they have two choices: To pay up or get out.”

Focus Ireland said it is  highly concerned that it is  far too easy for some landlords to flout the law as there is no monitoring to check if they are abiding by the 4% cap, particularly the regulation that rents cannot be put up by more than 4% between tenancies. There is nobody checking the former rents or the new rents, there is no clear process for anyone to make a complaint and the penalty for any landlord breaking the rules is no deterrent.  ’

Focus Ireland said there need to be effective penalties put in place to punish any landlords that are caught breaking the rent cap in a rent pressure zone.

Mr. Allen said: “Most landlords are decent people and many of them have gone through a difficult few years.  However, the sad reality is that there are unscrupulous landlords who give the whole sector a bad name, the only way to weed out the unscrupulous landlords is to make sure there is a harsh penalty where landlords are found to be breaking the law by hiking up rents above 4% in rent pressure zones.”

Contact: Roughan MacNamara  086 85 15 117

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