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Tenants are being ripped off in the private rented sector - David Cullinane

6 May, 2004

Sinn Féin EU candidate for the South constituency David Cullinane has today said that 'tenants are being ripped off in the private rented sector.' Mr Cullinane's comments came after an ESRI study, which was commissioned by the Combat Poverty Agency, which reported that tenants living in the private rented sector were more likely to face financial hardship than most mortgage holders.

The report also revealed that on average householders spend 10% of their total household expenditure on mortgage repayments, whilst tenants spend 21% of their income on rent.

Speaking today, Mr Cullinane said:

"The ESRI report makes for grim reading indeed. On average, tenants are spending 21% of their incomes on rent, while those paying a mortgage are spending an average of 10% of their income on repayments. It is blatantly obvious that many tenants in the private sector are paying exorbitant amounts of money to landlords and agents.

"According to the Central Statistics Office the number of private rented dwellings in the state increased from 71,000 to 141,000 between 1991 and 2002. In some regions more than a quarter of households are private rented dwellings, and many of these tenants are being ripped off

"The government of this state must take responsibility for failing to prioritise the Residential Tenancies Bill, which would improve the rights of tenants in the private sector. Sinn Féin are seeking to amend this bill in the Dail, to include provision for the control of rents in the private sector, to protect tenants from unscrupulous individuals and agencies who would seek to exploit them." ENDS

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