Longford County Council have ruled out reducing their rents in the near future, and will instead wait for the national guidelines to be unveiled later this year before any change takes place. However, the council did outline that if a tenant is in payment difficulty due to a change in circumstances, the tenant should contact the local authority.
Cllr PJ Reilly put forward a proposal that house rents should be reduced for tenants as budget cuts were affecting tenants ability to pay.
“There is so much private property vacant at the moment and there’s very good value in the private sector in the line of houses and apartments at very good value for money,” Cllr Reilly outlined.
“I think our tenants throughout the county should be entitled to a rent reduction due to present circumstances and climate that we’re in,” he said.
Cllr Barney Steele agreed, and said he felt there is room for a change.
In reply, Terry Rooney, Acting Director of Services for Housing, Planning, Building Control and Emergency Services, said, “The council proposes to review housing rents when the Department issues new national guidelines which are expected this year.
“In the meantime, there is a procedure for tenants whose circumstances have changed to apply for reassessment of their rent. A member of staff has been assigned on almost a full-time basis to process such applications.” He added that the council are dealing with tenants on a daily basis.
Cllr Paul Connell said Longford was more expensive that its neighbours, and hoped that there was a national rent differential scheme put in place this year.