Call for TDs to support bill to ban rent increases for three years

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Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell has called on all TDs to support a bill put forward in the Dáil this week which seeks to ban rent increases for three years.

The Bill introduced in the Dáil this week by Sinn Féin would prohibit rent increases for all existing and new tenancies for three years.

Deputy Farrell said the Bill would ensure rents in existing tenancies are capped at their rate on the date that the new legislation is enacted.

New tenancies would then be set according to the Residential Tenancies Board rent index.

“If the Bill becomes law, the ban on rent increases will run for three years with an annual review built into the legislation,” said Deputy Farrell.

Deputy Farrell said that this Bill is one of the many solutions her party has put forward to tackle the rental crisis.

This includes a refundable tax credit which would give renters one months rent back and legislating for tenancies of indefinite duration, she said, as well as the introduction of an NCT style certification for landlords.

“All of this would be supported by an increased capital investment in the rollout of affordable cost rental homes at scale. We would target the delivery of 4,000 per year.

“This government has no plan for the rental sector. Rents are too high, and the extortionate rates people are being asked to pay are only rising,” said Deputy Farrell.

The Sinn Féin TD added that the average rent across the state is now €1,256 per month, with rents rising rapidly in areas outside Dublin and the commuter belt.

“In Galway City according to the latest figures the average asking rent is almost €1,400 per month,” she said.

“The Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien can continue to use the Constitution as an excuse to avoid helping renters or he can accept that this current crisis warrants a better response from this government.

“Sinn Fein believe that it is wholly reasonable to ban rent increases for three years.  We believe it is fair to give hard pressed renters a break from extortionate rent rises.”