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The rent burden is out of control and regulation is urgently needed – Ellis

25 June, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has said rents have reached a point where they are simply too high for the majority of tenants and that regulation is needed to bring fairness to the rental market.

He was responding to figures from Eurostat that found renters in the Irish state were paying over 34% of their incomes in rent as compared to much lower rates in continental Europe where rent regulation is stronger.

Deputy Ellis said;

“We've known for some time now that rents were spiralling well beyond what was affordable for low paid workers and unemployed people, but it is clear from these figures that the average renter is simply paying too much. We also know from reports by councils who have undertaken inspections that the private rental market is rife with poor standards which are not being dealt with and all the while rents are being raised.

“Since the Fine Gael/Labour government took power, we have seen a 34% rise in rents in Dublin and a steady rise across the state of between 6 and 8% yearly. This is unsustainable and has led to an increase in people losing their homes and needing emergency accommodation. We now have the horrific situation where 1000 children are sleeping in hotels and hostels without a proper home.

“These Eurostat figures show Ireland is one of the most expensive places to rent in the EU, especially when compared with countries which have taken measures to regulate rent. We need to act now to introduce a suite of measures to tackle high rents and bring fairness to the market.

“This would include regulations on the rate at which rents can be increased between tenancy agreements, longer term tenancy agreements but also measures to review unfair rents and adjust them where appropriate to ensure a fair rate for tenants and landlords.

“We desperately need more housing, but the cycle of evictions from the private rental market leading people into emergency accommodation must be stopped now. This is only possible with swift action.” 

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