Scrap rent pressure zones in favour of nationwide rent caps

December 20, 2017

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD has said rent pressure zones have failed to prevent soaring rental prices driving more people into homelessness and must now be scrapped and replaced with nationwide rent caps.

Deputy Murphy was commenting on data from the Residential Tenancies Board released today which shows that the average rent of new tenancies nationally rose by just under 10 per cent in the third quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. The average rent for new tenancies is now €1, 056 per month. In Dublin the monthly figure rose to €1,518, up from €1,382 during the same period in 2016.

Deputy Murphy said:

“Today’s figures show once again that the system of rent pressure zones is failing to restrain skyrocketing rents. Rents are up almost 10 per cent overall despite a promise to restrict this to no more than 4 per cent. Meanwhile in areas not yet designated as a rent pressure zone there is a free-for-all for landlords, with rents increasing by a shocking 19 per cent in Limerick.

“It’s time now to face up to the fact that rent pressure zones just aren’t working. They should be scrapped and replaced with proper rent certainty measures. This means rent caps tied to the general rate of inflation and applied across the entire country.

“There is no doubt that rent hikes are driving homelessness. They are also leading to new levels of deprivation, with families turning to food banks because they don’t have enough disposable income after they have covered their monthly rents.

“What we are seeing every day is the abject failure of the government’s response to a housing emergency that continues to prioritise landlords over tenants. The government needs to urgently re-balance the system in favour of tenants.”

ENDS

20 December 2017