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There are 'no plans' to change upward-only rent reviews

Alan Shatter says any law may not pass a constitutional challenge.

A 2011 banner criticised the government for their reluctance to change the law.
A 2011 banner criticised the government for their reluctance to change the law.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR Justice says that there is no plan to attempt to abolish upward-only rent reviews for ‘legacy issues’.

Alan Shatter told the Dáil on Thursday that the government still felt that their interference in the contracts could not survive a constitutional challenge.

Responding to questions from independent TD Finian McGrath and Fine Gael’s Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Shatter said that the government was standing by a decision made in 2011.

Back then, the government decided not to intervene in “legacy issues” – cases which were entered into before 28 February 2010.

That decision came despite Fine Gael’s election pledge to abolish the reviews.

Currently, the practice is outlawed for any new agreement, but many tenants signed their deals prior to the 2010 cut off point.

Shatter said that that decision was made because of a worry over legal challenges.

“There was a substantial concern that any legislative scheme involving interference in the contractual relationships of private parties would find it extremely difficult to survive a constitutional challenge,” he said.

“In addition, the Government was advised that any model proposed would require the payment of compensation to landlords whose rights were infringed in order to ensure that the proposal would be compatible with the Constitution and with the European Convention on Human Rights.

“The situation has not changed since 2011 and, as I have indicated in my replies to previous Parliamentary Questions on the subject of upward only rent review clauses, there are no plans to re-examine the decision which was taken in 2011.”

Read: Buy to let landlords problems affecting family homes – Threshold

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