The Government needs to amend the definition of a Rent Pressure Zone and designate Limerick and Waterford as such. That’s according to national housing charity, Threshold, responding to figures from this morning’s Residential Tenancies Board’s Q3 2018 Rent Index. According to the report, nationally rents for new tenancies increased by an average 8 per cent year-on-year, with rents for existing tenancies increasing by 5.4 per cent. Limerick city saw the most rapid increase in rental costs at 11.8 per cent. Waterford city rents increased by 10 per cent in the same period.
The current RPZ designation is limited to areas where rents are above average national rent level and have experienced rental inflation in excess of 7 per cent in four of the previous six quarters. The designation provides that annual rent increases cannot exceed 4 per cent.
Commenting, Threshold chief executive, John-Mark McCafferty said: “We are disappointed at the continued rise in rents and the results from this report show that implementation of the new Residential Tenancies Bill is urgently required. Neither Limerick nor Waterford are RPZs at the moment, but the rent increase in excess of 10 per cent in both cities is evidence that they require to be designated as such.
“The rise in rents of new tenancies of 8 per cent also highlights a serious concern about affordability and accessibility for renters on low and middle incomes. The rate of these increases leaves prospective renters with very few options when looking to enter the market and this is having a devastating impact on their ability to secure a home, which in turn has a substantial impact on their standard of living.”
He added: “While we welcome Minister Murphy’s introduction of the new Residential Tenancies Bill, it is imperative that sufficient resources are made available to the RTB to ensure that they can properly implement their new powers of investigation and sanctions in relation to RPZs.”
Renters who are worried about losing their home can call Threshold’s Tenancy Protection Service on 1800 454 454 for information, advice and support to help protect their tenancies.