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07 Dec 2021

Rent caps need to be enforced to stop 'staggering increases' says housing charity

Rent caps need to be enforced to stop 'staggering increases' says housing charity

With some renters facing a hike of around €100 per month, it is essential that rent caps are enforced according to national housing charity Threshold. 

Some of the staggering increases - more than 20% in some cases - in rents advertised across Connacht, Ulster and Munster are unprecedented, Threshold said.

These increases equate to well above €100 a month, more than the average electricity bill.  

Annual rent increases of 17.8% in County Clare, 19% in County Donegal, 19.2% in County Kerry, 21.6% in County Leitrim, 20.1% in County Mayo, 14.4% in County Tipperary and 18.3% in County Sligo, outstrip the increases seen in 2015 and 2016 - that prompted the introduction of a two-year rent freeze and the introduction of the Rent Pressure Zones.

The increase in the cost of room rentals in some areas is particularly concerning, given the struggles faced by students to secure accommodation this year, Threshold said.

Rents for a single room in Limerick City increased by 20.8% and by 18% for a double room, now costing between €464 and €540 a month. Threshold chief executive John-Mark McCafferty said:

“Those in a house-share in Dublin are now paying between €515 and €683 for a single room in a house. This is the equivalent of between 32% and 43% of the take home pay of a minimum wage worker and, according to the new Q3 Daft Rental Report released today, is in line with the cost of a mortgage for a one bed property in some parts of Dublin.

 “While the Government are currently taking action to cap rent increases in RPZs at 2%, it is essential that these caps are enforced. It is also essential however, that those living outside of the Rent Pressure Zones are protected from these extreme rent increases.

"There is now an opportunity for the Government to extend the Rent Pressure Zones to the entire country as this legislation passes through the Oireachtas,” Threshold said.

The housing charity observed an increase in the number of queries about rent increases at the outset of Q3 2021. They say this may have been a result of the changes to the Rent Pressure Zone rules introduced last July.

However, half of these notices were invalid. Any renter who has received a rent review notice should get in touch with Threshold to ensure the increase is valid.

Rent regulations apply to new tenancies as well so if a renter is not sure about how the rent was set, they should get in touch on freephone 1800 454 454 or threshold.ie.

Threshold chairperson Aideen Hayden said: “This week’s announcement that the Cabinet has approved changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to provide for indefinite tenancies is welcome. It has been a longstanding policy position of Threshold that the ability of a landlord to end a tenancy for no reason every six years has no place in a modern rental system.”

Threshold provides free, independent and confidential advice and support to tenants in the private rented sector. Its Freephone helpline number, 1800 454 454 operates Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm

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