The Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The primary functions of the Board are to operate a national tenancy registration system and to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants in the private rented residential sector. In accordance with the Act, the Board also has functions regarding research into the private rented sector and the provision of information to the Minister on matters related to the sector.
In the context of increasing rents, especially in the Dublin area, I asked the PRTB to carry out a focused piece of research to explore options to address the difficulties being experienced in segments of the private rented sector. Contracts for the study were awarded last month and the terms of reference for the study will be published in the coming days at www.prtb.ie.
My Department understands the study will be broadly based and will examine a range of topics including:
- the current tax treatment of the rental sector;
- rent supplement and possible incentives for landlords to rent to social rented tenants;
- the pros and cons of different approaches to the regulation of rent increases within a tenancy;
- scenario testing of possible approaches to rent regulation;
- lessons from other countries with a developed private rented sector with rent certainty and stability;
- proposals in relation to both short-term and medium to long-term strategies to achieve greater rental stability and certainty;
- advice on the basis under which any changes might be introduced and/or operate;
- an indication of the likely costs of any measures proposed.
I have asked the PRTB to report back to me with policy recommendations before the end of June.