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'It's time the government delivered rent certainty to tenants'

Rents across the country have leaped massively once more according to the latest figures from the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB).

PastedImage-64356 Source: PRTB

Updated 09.15 am

CHAIRPERSON OF RENTERS’ rights group Threshold Aideen Hayden has called on the government once more to introduce rent certainty for beleaguered tenants.

Rents outside Dublin actually showed a stronger rate of growth than those in the capital in the first quarter of this year, according to a new report by Private Rental Tenancy Board (PRTB).

The analysis paints a similar picture to what has been seen in other reports – rents are still very much on the up.

“It is now critical that the Government delivers on its promise to bring rent certainty to the private rented sector,” Labour senator Hayden said.

Those who choose to rent or who have been forced to rent their home because they have no other option, simply cannot afford rent increases of this level.
In Threshold’s experience, the figures published by the PRTB tell only half the story because they mask the severe problems experienced by tenants living at the lower end of the market, where competition for accommodation is at its most desperate.
Threshold regularly assists tenants who are facing demands for 20-40% increases in rent, which they simply cannot afford.
The family homelessness crisis in the capital is the inevitable consequence, with 40 families a month now becoming homeless.

Threshold Annual Reports Senator Aideen Hayden Source: samboal

Hayden said that she ‘welcomes’ environment minister Alan Kelly’s commitment to bringing rent certainty proposals to cabinet.

Kelly announced earlier this month plans to tie rents to inflation in an attempt to put the lid on sky-rocketing housing costs.

The Minister wants to temporarily introduce the rent control alongside other measures to stop tenants suffering amid the housing crisis.

Kelly also planned to bring in incentives for landlords who agreed to offer tenants long-term leases like those commonly available elsewhere in Europe.

“However, it is now time for specific measures that will provide this certainty and protect tenants from unsustainable rent increases,” Hayden said.

The Government’s promise that a deposit protection scheme to safeguard tenants’ money will soon be enacted is also welcome.

The PRTB report shows that rents nationally rose by 6.9% compared to the same period last year. The average amount paid for apartments is now €878 (up from €815) and €814 (up from €765) for houses.

Annual growth within Dublin remains strong, now standing at 9.6%, with €1,325 for a house and €1,205 for an apartment being the average price paid.

Prices outside of the capital remain much lower, the PRTB describing the market as “subdued”.

However, there are some signs of life. The report says:

“The latest findings [...] suggest the driver of growth changed in Q1, 2015, with rents outside Dublin showing a stronger rate of increase than Dublin rents.”

For properties outside Dublin, rents in Q1, 2015, were 1.5% higher than in Q4, 2014. The growth in rents outside Dublin primarily reflects the apartment market, up by 2.1% on a quarterly basis, while rents for houses outside Dublin were up 1.6% when compared to Q4, 2014.

growth Highlighted the uptick that caught the PRTB's attention. Source: PRTB

And how are rents looking in relation to their boom-time peaks?

By quarter 1, 2015 rents nationally were 16.9% lower than their peak. While the peak-to-trough in the Dublin market was similar to that experienced nationally, the strength of the recovery in Dublin means that rents are just 7.5% lower than their highest point.

The PRTB’s report was compiled by the ESRI using actual rents paid.

Additional reporting by Cianan Brennan

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Nicky Ryan

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