The national housing charity, Threshold, has today (27.01.2017) welcomed the extension of Rent Pressure Zones to additional areas, including a further 23 towns and all of Galway city, by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Simon Coveney TD.
Speaking today, Stephen Large, Services Manager at Threshold, commented: “One in five homes in Ireland is privately rented, yet this sector is also the most expensive and least secure form of housing in Ireland. Threshold would like to see rent certainty measures providing long term security beyond the three years envisaged by the current legislation, and for this to become a permanent fixture in a functioning housing market.
“Since the announcements in December of Dublin and Cork City being designated as Rent Pressure Zones, our services have been inundated with queries in relation to rent increases and many are from tenants whose landlords are seeking illegal increases before the legislation takes effect or wrongly informing tenants that the new measures do not apply to them.”
The most recent Daft.ie report Q4 2016 found that the annual rate of rental inflation in Ireland is now 11.7 per cent, which is the highest recorded by the Daft.ie Report since 2002. For example, renting a 3-bed house will cost on average €1,068pm in Kildare, €979pm in Galway and €751pm in county Cork.
Stephen Large continued: “The rental crisis is a national issue, even in more rural areas, where you would imagine there is less demand, it is having a huge impact. For example, in Cavan the average rent has increased by over 12 per cent, and there is a lack of available accommodation with only 16 three-bed properties advertised as available to rent in County Cavan on Daft.ie today.
“The problem is exacerbated for households who depend on social housing supports for their rent, as evidenced in the recent report by the Simon Communities in Ireland, which found that 83 per cent of rental properties are priced beyond Rent Supplement (RS) and the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) limits.
“The extension of the rent pressure zones will be of huge relief to tenants, and we urge the government to ensure that the rental pressure zones are rolled out nationally to protect tenants from the substantial rent increases of 20, 30 and in some cases 40 per cent or more, that our clients are facing on a daily basis. The new rules around rent increases are complex and we would urge anyone affected to contact Threshold’s advisory services for advice and support.”
Threshold operates the successful Tenancy Protection Service which helps prevent homelessness and keep individuals and families in their homes. As part of ‘Rebuilding Ireland: An action plan on housing and homelessness’, Threshold is in the process of rolling out a national helpline across the country with housing advice and advocacy, particularly for those at risk of homelessness.
Visit www.threshold.ie for more information or call the Tenancy Protection Helpline on 1800 454 454.
Threshold wishes to acknowledge funding received from the Scheme to Support National Organisations 2016-2019 and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.