Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy

Source: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

Bill to regulate rent pressure zone properties passes through Seanad

The Residential Tenancies Bill will now go to President Michael D Higgins to be signed into law.
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THE RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES BILL has passed through the Seanad. 

The Bill will now go to President Michael D Higgins to be signed into law. 

In April 2018, Murphy announced proposed new measures that would form part of the new Residential Tenancies Bill.

Among the measures the new Bill will in is a planned law making it an offence for landlords with properties in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) to raise the rent above the legally allowed 4%.

  • A detailed analysis of RPZs can be read here.

“It’s also going to give the [Residential Tenancies Board] independent powers to examine and enforce any breaches of those rent caps, which I think is necessary,” Murphy told reporters at an event in December.

Currently, a complaint needs to be made by an existing tenant before it can investigate.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has asked Cabinet to exercise its powers to fast-track the signing of the Bill by President Higgins. 

The early signature motion, facilitating the early enactment of the Bill will ensure that new arrangements to regulate short term letting in RPZs can come into operation on 1 July 2019. 

Murphy criticism

The passing of the Bill comes as Murphy has, over the past day, been heavily criticised for comments he made about proposals for co-living developments in Ireland. 

Co-living blocks offer an “exciting” choice to young workers, Murphy told a Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland and Department of Housing conference yesterday. 

Today, the issue of co-living was raised by a number of deputies who said the government was “out of touch” with the public in relation to the issue.

The debate about co-living emerged recently on foot of a developer’s plans to build a block of 208 studio dwellings which would see dozens of people sharing one kitchen.

The proposed Dublin development would be one of the first “co-living” buildings that became permissible under design standard guidelines for new apartments that were introduced in March 2018.

With reporting by Christina Finn

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