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Major reforms to the private rental sector

A series of reforms have been announced by the government to provide rent certainty for both tenants and landlords.

Among the measures is an increase in the rent review period, from one-to-two years. This means anybody who faced a rent increase in 2015 will now not have a rent review until 2017.

Other changes include.

  1. Landlords will have to give a ‘statutory declaration’ of their intent to sell if evicting a resident to prevent abuse of procedures in order to terminate a tenancy.

  2. They will face fines for breaching these declarations.

  3. Landlords who house social tenants will get 100% mortgage interest relief under measures being introduced in the Finance Bill.

  4. Development levies for homes sold for less than €300,000 will be abolished in some areas, such as Dublin and Cork.

  5. The abolition will only apply for three years before vacant sites are subject to a charge to encourage builders to build on vacant sites.

  6. Housing assistance payments (HAPs) are being increased in Cork, Galway, Kildare and Meath where there will be flexibility for a 20% increase on top of rent supplement limits.

  7. In Dublin, families in emergency accommodation will be allowed a HAP increase of up to 50% above rent supplement limits.

There will also be an increased role for the PRTB as a holder of deposits during the term of tenancy.

Read more on the Department of the Environment website.

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