Action needed to curb rising rents- O’Sullivan
Commenting on the latest figures from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), Labour Housing spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has said that the issue of rising rents must be addressed to prevent more people from becoming homeless.
The figures show the average rent for new tenancies is up by 10% on last year, and has surpassed the previous peak ten years ago by 7%.
Deputy O’Sullivan said:
“With rents continuing to rise nationally and yesterday’s report from the Simon Community showing that more people are now using their services, the link between rising rents and homelessness is becoming more apparent.
“There are now nearly 9,000 people, including almost 3,400 children homeless.
“Today’s RTB figures showing a10% jump in the average rent for new tenancies indicates that tenants outside the rent pressure zones, or those that are entering a new lease agreement, are still facing big hikes in rent, greater than the 4% ceiling.
“My own constituency of Limerick, which is not a designated rent pressure zone, has seen the fastest rate of inflation, with average rent up by around 19% year on year.
“As part of efforts to address the housing and homelessness crisis, we also need to keep people in their homes and prevent them from becoming homeless in the first place.
“Extending the rent pressure zones, linking rent increases to the CPI, and tightening up the area surrounding tenant evictions where a landlord is selling or carrying out refurbishments on a property are some measures that could be taken to address the issue.
“The chronic undersupply in the rental market at present means tenants are very much at the mercy of landlords, and we need to get about providing affordable homes to rent as well as buy.
“With more and more people renting because they can’t afford to buy a home, we need to ensure they are not exploited due to out of control rents.”