Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has claimed that the changes announced by Minister Murphy to the Rent Pressure Zone designation are “too little, too late” for many. His comments come as the latest Rent Index from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) shows that rents are continuing rise across the State.
Teachta Brady said:
“The rent index for Q1 of 2019, published by the RTB today, indicates that the standardised average rent is now €1,169 per month, an annual increase of 8.3%.
“The standardised average rent for Wicklow has reached €1,210 per month, an increase of 8.5% per year.
“Despite rents skyrocketing across Wicklow, only Arklow has been included in the nineteen new rent pressure zones announced today. This is welcome for Arklow but fails to address rising rents everywhere else in the County. In areas of Wicklow that were previously included in rent pressure zones landlords are terminating leases stating the property is to be sold. The property is then subsequently re-let with a higher rent.
“The RTB shows that rental inflation is highest in highest in areas outside the Greater Dublin Area showing an increase of 7.5% per year.
“The Minister has finally decided to make changes to how the RPZs are designated on foot of, as the Minister states, ‘rents rising unsustainably’ outside of RPZs.
“Worryingly he also confirms that these rent increases were “anticipated.”
“Why did the Minister wait for more than two years to include these areas in the RPZ legislation and act to dampen down rents instead of letting them rise to increasingly unaffordable levels?
“This is more an admission of negligence than failure from the Minister today. He knowingly facilitated unsustainable rent rises.
“It is not good enough. The Minister is failing to protect renters. He must introduce an immediate rent freeze and a refundable, one-month tax credit for renters to help ease the burden a little.”
“We also need to see the urgent roll out of affordable cost rental schemes.”