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Rental market report 'offers absolutely nothing for tenants'

A report yesterday suggested that rent controls would not help the rental market.

Image: key via Shutterstock

THE PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL Tenancies Board (PRTB) has defended its stance on rent controls, after the authority wanted they could cause an exodus of landlords from the market.

Both the Anti-Austerity Alliance and Focus Ireland said that rent controls are necessary to bring the volatile rental market under control.

“For tenants this report offers absolutely nothing,” TD Ruth Coppinger said.

There are families being made homeless on a daily basis because of rent hikes, yet despite this and the evidence from other European countries on how rent controls could work, they say that rent controls would make the problem worse.

Homelessness charity Focus Ireland said that rent control will not work in isolation, but that a range of measures are vital to accompany it.

It criticised the Government for taking “a very black and white approach to tackling the private rented sector when what is required is a comprehensive set of measures to meet the needs of tenants, landlords and taxpayers”.

Responding to the criticism, Annette Hughes of DKM, the lead party in the consortium that conducted the research for the PRTB, said a detailed review of rent controls concluded that it would result in “unintended consequences for tenants”.

Hughes said that it would cause landlords to leave the sector, prevent new entrants to the market, and lead to more ‘black market transactions’.

She added that measures recommended included three-months warning for tenants of a rent increased, slammed by AAA as a ‘fig leaf’, and a yearly review of rent supplement limits instead of the current 18-month period.

Paul Murphy accused the authors of the report of defending the interests “of the wealthy in society”, after DKM recommended more tax-breaks for landlords. Hughes said this could result in more supply in the sector, relieving pent-up demand, and noted that “some of these are specifically aimed at providing accommodation for low income tenants.”

Additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy

Read: Rent controls won’t fix the Irish market, tenants’ board warns >

More: Young people might have to delay flying the nest due to rising rents >

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