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Are rents set to increase ahead of a two-year freeze measure?

The PRTB has issued advice to the public over the measures.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

A CALL FOR calm has gone out amid speculation that landlords around the country could be set to push up rents.

This comes after it emerged that the government plans to implement a two-year freeze on rents.

There has been speculation that landlords are set to take advantage of a window of opportunity to increase rents prior to these measures coming into law.

Details of this agreement have not yet been published and information about it only emerged last night.

Speaking earlier today, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan projected that the measures would come in by the end of November.

In a statement this evening, a spokesperson for the State agency the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) said: “A landlord (or receiver) can only increase the rent once in any 12 month period, and cannot increase within 12 months of the commencement of the tenancy.

If a landlord intends increasing the rent, they must inform the Tenant, in writing, of any increase in rent, 28 days before the increase is due to take effect.

The PRTB go on to emphasise that rent cannot be set above the market rate and that any disputes over this should be brought forward to the body.

On the prospect of rent hikes, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly told Galway Bay FM earlier today he does not “suspect that it will be a major issue”.

Earlier today Irish Independent journalist Colette Browne tweeted that she had received an email from her landlord upping her rent prior to the introduction of the new measures.

In a statement this morning, Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said that within hours of formal cabinet approval of the new rent measures, legislation would need to be introduced to prevent immediate rent spikes.

This would be needed to prevent “an accidental increase in homelessness”.

It is understood that housing charity Threshold has today received calls from people asking about the new measures, but only a small number from people who have been faced with a rent increase.

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

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

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