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Rent pressure zones not working- government is failing renters- Eoin Ó Broin TD

20 December, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the government to immediately introduce rent certainty as data from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) released today shows rent pressure zones have not tempered rent hikes.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The RTB figures for Q3 of 2017 show that the average rent increase across the state for new tenancies was 9.5%. Average rent for new tenancies is now €1, 056 per month.

“In Dublin the standardised averagerent was €1,518, up from €1,382 during the same period in 2016.

“Outside Greater Dublin Area (Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow) the standardised average rent was up 9.2% compared to 8% year-on-year in Q2 this year.  Average rent outside the greater Dublin area is now €811 up from €743 in q3 of 2016.

“It is now cities outside Dublin that are experiencing the greatest increase in rents. In Limerick the rate of rental growth on a yearly basis was 22%. Rents in Waterford grew at 14% per year and in Monaghan and Westmeath grew at 13% per year. None of these areas are covered by the government’s rent pressure zone 4% cap.

“This is third quarterly report issue since the rent pressure zones were introduced confirms what many of us feared when the legislation was rushed through last December. It is not halting rent increases. It is creating a two tier rental market.

"Those outside the rent pressure zones are being dragged up to the excessive level experienced by those within rent pressure zones.

“While supply of properties in the private rented sector is critically low we need to ensure that tenants stay in the homes they already have. It’s no coincidence that the ongoing unsustainable increases in rent costs are linked to the ongoing rise in those living in emergency accommodation.

“This means rent certainty legislation. It also means that existing legislation should be immediately amended to prevent landlords issuing vacant possession notices to quit.

“Minister Murphy is deluded if he thinks that simply issuing guidelines will tackle the abuse of the substantial refurbishment clause. We need statutory guidelines on what constitutes substantial refurbishment.

"We need strong legal protections for tenants who must vacate a property when substantial change is being made to ensure they have first refusal to return at a rent no greater than the 4% cap.

“I expect to see more crocodile tears from Fianna Fáil today on this. People should remember that they voted against rent certainty five times and facilitated the defeat of the Focus Ireland amendment to prevent landlords issuing vacant possession notices to quit.

“We need a radical departure from current government policy. It is not working and renters are suffering.”

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