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Michael Noonan and Alan Kelly
Michael Noonan and Alan Kelly
Image: Photocall Ireland

These two men have been talking up the new plan on rents and housing supply

Full details of the plan agreed between the Finance and Environment ministers will be unveiled next Tuesday.
Nov 6th 2015, 1:51 PM 16,360 91

Updated at 2pm 

MINISTERS MICHAEL NOONAN and Alan Kelly have been speaking about new coalition plans around the issues of rent increases and housing supply.

News of the measures – expected to be agreed by ministers next Tuesday – first emerged last night.

It’s understood that one of the main agreements is on rent increases, with residential landlords only being allowed to increase rent rates every two years. However, details of the deal have not been confirmed by the government ministers.

Speaking in Galway, Kelly said the plan would “deal with the issues that we all know are out there in relation to supply and also in relation to rent”.

He said he believed they would be positively received, adding that the measures would be put in place quickly.

It comes after Kelly failed in his efforts to introduce a form of rent certainty which would have linked rent rises to inflation.

This proposal, first mooted by the minister in February, has been met with virulent opposition from Noonan and Fine Gael over fears about the level of government intervention in the housing market.

Under the watered-down plans, landlords will be allowed to raise rents as much as they want – but only every 24 months.

Speaking to the News at One, Noonan said full details of the plan would be announced after the cabinet meets on Tuesday and that there would be no “long-fingering” of the measures.

“It certainly will be a November initiative,” the minister added.

Some landlords have warned that government interference in the area will discourage people from continuing in the business.

However, Noonan said he didn’t think it was a concern, adding:

“Some are selling up anyway because the business is difficult for some landlords who are not professional landlords. You have kind-of amateur landlords and accidental landlords and they’re not wedded to the business anyway.”

“But what we want is a proper functioning rental market in Ireland but particularly in the bigger cities where there are pressures now.”

Asked about the nature of the negotiations between Environment and Finance in achieving the deal, he insisted there was “no bitterness” between the departments or between himself and Kelly.

What else do we know about the proposals?

  • The Private Residential Tenancies Board is set to be given enhanced powers to deal with tenant/landlord disputes.
  • The Irish Times speculates that changes to planning standards will help boost the number of apartments being built in Dublin.
  • It also says that Kelly will be able to “use his powers to override local authority standards” to help speed up market activity and allow smaller apartments be built.
  • The Irish Independent notes that the package includes increasing the notice periods for evicting tenants. 

With reporting by Daragh Brophy and Hugh O’Connell.

Read: “Alan Kelly is the only minister who understands the homeless problem,” says Peter McVerry>

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Aoife Barry

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