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Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
On the rise

Minister accused of 'living in cloud cuckoo land' for saying rents are rising at a 'slow rate'

The average cost of renting a home in Ireland in the first three months of this year was at an all time high.

RENTS REMAIN UNACCEPTABLY high, according to Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, who added that rents are rising at a “slow rate”. 

“Rents are rising at a rate that we haven’t seen since 2013. A very slow rate,” he told RTÉ News at One today. 

The latest report finds that in Dublin, the average cost has risen above €2,000 – with rent increasing in the capital for the 31st consecutive quarter in a row.

The average cost of renting a home in Ireland in the first three months of this year was at an all time high of €1,366 – a rise of 8% on the same time last year.

The latest quarterly report from has also highlighted that there were just 2,700 homes available to rent nationwide on 1 May which is the lowest recorded since the first time these figures were compiled in 2006. 

Reacting to the latest figures, Murphy said “rent caps are working” but added that they need to be “strengthened and extended and that is exactly what we’re doing”.  

In the coming days, the minister is set to finalise the Residential Tenancies Act, with it set to signed into law within the next fortnight. 

The Residential Tenancies Act has been a long time coming, with Murphy promising that it will fundamentally change the rental market in Ireland.

New powers

It aims to do this by giving the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) the powers to carry out investigations and impose sanctions on landlords, as well as setting the rules for rent pressure zones (with additional zones added just recently).

The government also wants to increase the notice periods for tenants, as well as laying down new rules for short-term lets, such as AirBnb.

Murphy said today, that for “the first time we are bringing in large institutional landlords under those new rent cap laws so tenants renting from those properties have the same protections as the tenants renting from traditional landlords”. 

“We know we need to do more… the rent caps that have been working will now be extended to 2021 at the earliest. We are also reforming them so it is not easy for landlords to step outside of their obligations and crucially large institutional landlords, which were not previously covered by rent caps are now being covered by them”.

However, Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin criticised the minister’s comments that “rents are rising at a rate we haven’t seen since 2013 – a very slow rate”.

He accused the minister of “living in cloud cuckoo land” stating that rents for new tenancies are accelerating at an alarming rate.

“The year-on-year increases are overwhelming thousands of renters.

“Ten counties had double digit rent increases. Waterford had a rise of 16% while Galway had an increase of almost 17%,” he said, adding:

All counties, excluding Dublin, had rent inflation at least double the Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) 4% cap, while in Dublin rents rose by 7% and are now between €1700 and €2200 – depending on the location.
For the minister to focus on the quarterly rise rather than the annual one is either a sign of stupidity or dishonesty. If he really believes what he said, then he is living in cloud cuckoo land.

Strategy is failing says Sinn Féin

Ó Broin said the government’s rental strategy, including the rent pressure zones, is failing.

He said the legislation currently going through the Dáil “will do nothing for those renters who today are facing bills of between €1300 and €2200 for new rentals”.

“The time for mealy-mouthed measures are over. We need a rent freeze and a refundable tax credit for renters worth a month’s rent.

“We also need a major programme of public investment in affordable cost rental accommodation to provide renters with accommodation that they actually afford,” said the Sinn Féin spokesperson.

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