Thursday, 8 July 2021
Residential Tenancies (No. 2) Bill 2021: From the Seanad
I welcome this Bill. It will effectively mean that people who are renting will pay less of an increase than they would have if this Bill were not passed. Like other Deputies, I am very happy to support that. The Minister has also capped the upfront payments for new tenants at one month's rent and one month's deposit and he is working on other measures for later in the year to support renters. This says a lot about his commitment to people who are renting. The Bill we are passing today will effectively replace the current model of renting with a cost rental model, which it is to be hoped will become the predominant model in this city and across the State.
I have two questions for the Minister. First, when will this legislation take effect? Second, while in reality the 4% figure for rent increases was often higher, when tenants got their increase they knew the landlord was not allowed increase the rent by more than 4%. That was well understood. If all the Members of this House were asked what the current rate of inflation was, they might not be able to pin it down. It is important we communicate with tenants and make that figure easily understandable.
Perhaps there should be an annual publication of it and some element of an advertising or social media campaign around it would also be important to allow tenants to know what ballpark they are in. My fear would be that a well understood limit of 4%, albeit higher than what the Minister is proposing, might be replaced by a figure that is not well understood, and thereby landlords could slip increases that were higher than this legislation intends through the cracks. I welcome the great progress in this Bill, which will see people pay less of an increase than they otherwise would.