Fianna Fáil has ‘genuine concerns’ about rental strategy

Fianna Fáil has “genuine concerns” about several aspects about the Government’s rental strategy, the party’s spokesman Barry Cowen has said.

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney will be forced to make changes to his rental plan in order to have it passed by the Oireachtas this week.

Fianna Fáil has objected to aspects of Mr Coveney’s plan, which includes rent restrictions in Dublin and Cork city and is due to come into effect in the new year.

Mr Cowen said the methodology of the Minister’s strategy was “cumbersome”.

“The current model is limited in where it applies to. We want Galway and Limerick and other large population centres around Dublin to be included,” he said.

The Offaly TD also said he was not satisfied with the 4 per cent rent cap.

He said that the current levels of rents were abnormal and an increase of 4 per cent was too much.

Mr Cowen told Newstalk Breakfast Fianna Fáil had proposed a one to two per cent cap.

“There is no doubt that these proposals are a step in the right direction, when the opportunity presents itself, we will seek to make amendments,” he said.

Mr Cowen said tax incentives should have been included.

“Let’s have discussions, amendments, debate and analysis – this is all part of the democratic process.

“They have come a long way, we want to ensure that they go the full journey, that we can all be happy with changes put in place. We want to work with him and others so we can help.”

The “rent predictability” plan sets out proposals for so-called “rent pressure zones” and imposing limitations on the level of rent increases allowable on residential properties in these zones. The designation will apply for three years and would mean landlords can only increase rents by 4 per cent a year in that period.

Under the plan, a household paying a monthly rent of €1,300 in Dublin or Cork could see it rise to some €1,470 by 2019.

Full Story from The Irish Times

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