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Alan Kelly's big idea to solve the rental crisis could be dead in the water

It comes as a new poll finds strong support for the minister’s rent certainty proposal.

Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly
Image: RollingNews.ie

THE PROSPECT OF tenants being given rent certainty over the next three years is dwindling as the coalition moves closer to agreement on measures to tackle the housing and rental crisis.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s so-called ‘rent certainty’ proposal, which would link residential rental prices to the consumer price index for around three years, has met with strong opposition from Fine Gael.

Kelly met with Micheal Noonan today with the Finance Minister known to strongly oppose the rent certainty measure over fears that it would interfere too heavily in the rental market.

Speaking this evening, Tánaiste Joan Burton refused to say whether the proposal was off the table, saying only that talks between Noonan and Kelly today were “constructive and detailed”.

It comes as a new Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research poll finds strong support for the idea with 50% of people supporting Kelly’s efforts to introduce rent certainty. Just over a quarter, 26%, are opposed to the idea while 24% said they don’t know.

The government is set to finalise proposals in the coming days before an announcement next week. Measures will include requiring landlords to give 90 days notice of any rental increase, as opposed to the current 30 days.

There would also be restrictions on rent increases for people in long-term leases. The Private Residential Tenancies Board is also set to be given enhanced powers to deal with tenant/landlord disputes.

This evening, when pressed, Burton would not say if Kelly’s rent certainty proposal was now off the table. She said:

Minister Noonan and Minister Kelly met and had a very productive meeting at which I think great progress was made on a number of the issues.

A meeting of the cabinet sub-committee on housing also took place today with the two ministers, Burton and the Taoiseach Enda Kenny briefed by Dublin City Council officials on the homelessness crisis.

Burton said there would be structures in place to “to ensure that anybody who is sleeping rough over Christmas will have a roof over their head, where particularly they can be persuaded to seek such shelter and we’ve also allocated the funding to do that”.

Minister Kelly was present at that meeting so I think that great progress has been made and I would be confident that we would have substantial agreement on all the principal issues.

Read: Alan Kelly goes all third person and lashes ‘anonymous cowards’

Read: Why was there no rent certainty in the Budget?

Read: ‘Rent certainty’ might be coming, but could landlords get hikes in first?

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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