THE continued use of rent pressure zones (RPZs) by the Coalition Government is a vindication of a Fine Gael policy introduced five years ago, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Fine Gael spokesman on Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Senator John Cummins, this Thursday said the move to retain and refine RPZs to the end of 2024 will provide certainty to tenants and landlords.
“Rent Pressure Zones were introduced by the previous Fine Gael led government in December 2016. At the time, it was regarded as being a major source of tension between Fine Gael and the main opposition party, but it has since proven to be the right decision,” Senator Cummins said.
“Initially five local authority areas were designated under the RPZ legislation and over time, the number of areas covered by RPZs has expanded considerably, accounting for approximately 74% of all tenancies.
“I welcome today’s developments by the Housing Minister. Linking any increases in rent to the harmonised index of consumer price (HICP) is a sensible move and will bring it in line with the new cost rental model which the Government are rolling out as part of the Affordable Housing Bill.
“This decision by Government will result in rent increases being limited and will remove the reference to 4% which in some cases had become an annual target.
“For those not located in a designated RPZ, the introduction of a biannual rent review will give tenants certainty on their rent for a minimum two-year period at a time.
“Restricting the level of upfront payments required of tenants, to a total value that does not exceed two months’ rent to cover any deposit and one month rent in advance, goes far beyond opposition suggestions in a recent Private Members Bill which sought to introduce such a provision for student tenants. It is only right and proper that we have a standard process across the board for all tenancies.
“The decision by Government today is an acceptance and acknowledgement of the action taken by the previous Fine Gael Government,” Senator Cummins said.