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Dáil votes for Bill to end Carrigaline Rent Loophole-Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Writes Tara Maher

The Dáil has voted in favour of legislation this Thursday evening which will finally bring an end to the bizarre loophole that exists, which is keeping Carrigaline renters out of a Rent Pressure Zone following a legislation that was proposed by Sinn Féin TD for Cork South-Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire.

Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) are areas where rents are highest and rising quickly. An area must meet certain criteria to become an RPZ. For an area to be deemed a RPZ, The standardised average rent in the previous quarter must be above the appropriate reference standardised average rent in the quarter; and the annual rate of rent inflation in the area must have been 7% or more in four of the last six quarters.

Due to a Government error, large parts of Carrigaline (the area south of the Owenabue) as well as Ballygarvan, Crosshaven and the surrounding areas, can’t be included in Rent Pressure Zones.

“This is a great result for the people of Carrigaline, Ballygarvan and Crosshaven and it is high time that the Government have finally moved to address this issue for the over 1,000 renters who due to an unusual loophole were subjected to effectively unlimited rent increases.” said Ó Laoghaire.

Most of Cork City and county are covered by Rent Pressure Zones which are meant to keep rent increases to the level of inflation. Deputy Ó Laoghaire said “These are not perfect and we would prefer a rent freeze, but it does prevent a landlord asking for whatever rent increase they want.”

“This has been raised with Ministers back as far as 2018, and regularly by myself, by local area Rep Eoghan Fahy, as well as local Cllrs, and Sinn Féin have also tabled amendments to Legislation to tackle this.”

“However we have had no progress on this- until this evening. This was despite the fact that the Department had acknowledged that the loophole existed, and that the Minister promised to address it.”

“It was extremely unusual to have a piece of legislation relating to a specific area, but I had raised this with two Housing Ministers and had not seen any progress, so I felt I had no choice.”

“It was clear that the law needed to be changed and I am glad now that due to Government supporting my bill that the law can now be changed.”

“It was incredible that this loophole had been allowed to exist for so long and that 1,200 renters in the area could effectively face whatever rent increase that the landlord decided.”

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