President Higgins to be asked to fast-track rent law

Move is to ensure landlords cannot increase rents before freeze takes effect

President Michael D Higgins is to be asked to fast-track the new rent measures to avoid landlords increasing rent.

The proposals, which include a freeze on rent, are to be passed through both Houses of the Oireachtas by midweek and will be sent to Áras an Uachtaráin for early signature.

A spokesman for the Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly confirmed early signature was being sought by the President.

This would allow for the usual five-day waiting period to be bypassed and the legislation to be signed into effect as soon as possible.


The request is to ensure landlords do not have the opportunity to increase tenants’ rents before the freeze takes effect.

The measures by Mr Kelly include increased protection for tenants and new obligations on landlords to provide evidence before increasing rent.

It will also include provision for the deposit retention scheme which will prevent landlords from retaining deposits illegally.

The scheme will involve the appointment of an independent operator who will hold and return deposits to tenants when they leave their accommodation.

Sinn Féin will this week table a Private Members’ motion calling for additional measures to tackle the rent crisis.

The party's housing spokesman, Dessie Ellis, said the Government's response will serve only to delay rent increases.

Mr Ellis will also publish a Bill to update the definition of homelessness and to create additional responsibilities for local authorities.