Figures within weeks to allow rent cap in new areas, says Coveney

Minister insists housing policy needs to include a balance towards landlords

Simon Coveney: “If areas qualify under the criteria with which everyone is familiar, they will be designated as rent-pressure zones and the rules will apply’’

Simon Coveney: “If areas qualify under the criteria with which everyone is familiar, they will be designated as rent-pressure zones and the rules will apply’’

 

Figures will be available in the next few weeks to allow for the introduction of a rent cap in 15 new areas, Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has said.

“We will get assessments of those areas done quickly so that we can create new designations for rent-pressure zones as quickly as possible.’’

Mr Coveney said the areas focused on were cities like Waterford, Limerick and Galway, as well as areas adjacent to Dublin and Cork city. This included counties like Wicklow, Kildare, Meath and places in the outskirts of Cork city like Carrigaline and Ballincollig.

“If areas qualify under the criteria with which everyone is familiar, they will be designated as rent-pressure zones and the rules will apply,’’ said Mr Coveney. “We will limit rent inflation in those areas to 4 per cent annually.’’

AAA-PBP TD Ruth Coppinger said the National Competitiveness Council had reported people were spending 41 per cent of their income on rent.

“That is not sustainable, particularly for families. Obviously, for those in receipt of rent allowance, the amount they must personally pay has increased dramatically.’’

Mr Coveney said some people in the House only wanted to make the case for one side of the rental debate.

“Of course we need to introduce changes to protect tenants from spiralling rents and to address the matter of security of tenure to ensure that landlords are not abusing tenants, but we also need to have a policy that is balanced towards the landlords. Otherwise we will not have any landlords.’’

He said his job was to introduce a balance to allow the rental sector to function. He must ensure an increased amount of social housing while retaining a private rental market which was functioning properly.