December 13, 2016
The Social Democrats have responded to leaked reports of the Government’s new rental strategy by pointing out that the proposed measures which allow for a 4% per annum increase in so-called rent ‘pressure zones’ equates to approximately 40 times the current Consumer Price Index.
The Social Democrats have long called for a linking of rents to the CPI; this measure falls far short of the mark. But the Social Democrats have repeatedly said that current rent levels are already out of control and Government must look at measures which will reduce rather than maintain current levels. The party is also concerned about the exclusion of new rental properties from any form of rent limits, effectively giving landlords free reign to charge whatever they like. It is also extremely worrying that there will be no rent increase limits whatsoever for areas not included in the ‘pressure zones.’
Speaking this morning Catherine Murphy TD said: “It is telling that the language around this issue has changed from rent certainty to rent predictability but what we must be talking about is rent affordability. It’s one thing being able to predict rent rises but it’s entirely different to be able to afford or sustain those raises. 4% per annum represents nearly 4 times the average salary increase.
Social Democrats Co-Leader Róisín Shortall TD said:
“The exclusion of new properties or properties which have been removed from the rental market and then brought back on following renovations is a retrograde step which will further exacerbate an already out of control problem. It is a system that is open to abuse to the detriment of current tenants in many instances. This is a Fine Gael led response to a housing emergency which prioritises landlords over tenants.”
“Ultimately the only way to reduce rents is to increase supply and to date the Government has yet to come up with a coherent and effective strategy designed to increase supply in the market and instead insists on tinkering around the edges with measures such as these today which are simply not fit for purpose.”