10 August 2022
How bad does the rental crisis have to get for State intervention to bring relief for private renters?
Another quarterly report, another record high in rent increases. The latest Daft.ie Q2 2022 Rental Price report, showing record high rent increases, comes on foot of the RTB Q1 2022 Rent Index report that lists a 9.2% increase in rent prices in Q1 of this year. Alongside this report, the news that almost 3,000 private renters have received notices to quit in the first half of this year and the number of adults and children experiencing homelessness has exceeded 10,000 – yet again paints a dire picture of both the current and future situation for private renters in Ireland.
These sustained rent increases continue despite the fact that approximately three-quarters of tenancies are located in Rent Pressure Zones, where annual increases are capped at 2%. Threshold notes a total disregard of the rules by certain landlords, and that private renters should not be expected to pay unlawful rent increases.
Threshold Chief Executive, John-Mark McCafferty, said that the increases have been particularly severe in areas not protected by the RPZ rules: “In Donegal, Leitrim and Longford for example, increases range from €140 to €165 a month. This is the cost of a child’s uniform or their schoolbooks for a new school year and is resulting in increased financial strain on families already struggling to pay the bills.
“Those looking to rent a room have experienced unjustifiable increases in rents with prices up an average of 15% year-on-year in every large town and city in the country. Those renting a single room will pay approximately an extra €100 month compared to last year, at a time when inflation is almost 10%.”
Students returning to college
Threshold said that private rental costs will have a particularly adverse impact on students returning to college, or those starting college for the first time this year. Even the cheapest room on offer exceeds the SUSI grant and what a student can make while working part time. For this reason, students are warned to be aware of scams and fraudulent adverts.
Students should check the authenticity of providers, visit the accommodation and check that keys work in the doors before committing financially to accommodation prior to the start of this college year. They should not transfer funds in person, via bank transfer or through a company to someone claiming to be an agent or landlord of a prospective property without verifying their bona fides.
“Threshold hopes to see enhanced supports for renters in the forthcoming Budget, as well as tax changes for landlords which are linked to improved security of tenure for tenants and their families,” McCafferty added.