by Alan Jacques
The latest quarterly report from Daft.ie, indicates that rents have risen by over 11 per cent in the last year with the national average now €933 compared to €842 a year ago.
The average rent in Limerick City for one-bed accommodation in Limerick was €473. For a two bed, the average rent was €630. It was €771 for a three bed, €909 for a four-bed, and €1,045 for five-bed accommodation in the city.
Sinn Féin Comhairleoir Séighin Ó Ceallaigh claims rent rates are not inflated to unaffordable levels because landlords are taxed too high but because of the shortage of housing and the desperation of those seeking it.
“Landlords are renting properties which are often overcrowded, damp, cold and under managed for astronomical rates. People have lost their homes due to rent increases while they continued to work a full time job,” he said.
“In Limerick City, the starting price for renting a three bedroom house is around €700 a month and this is the equivalent of a mortgage that would allow people own their own homes.
“€700 per month is a very large figure to be asking from families during these difficult economic times. Many can’t afford this rent and are forced to cut spending in areas such as food, heating and clothing.
“A single person would be lucky to get a one bedroom apartment for less than €500 a month. This is the equivalent of approximately half a low paid workers wages, and is further evidence of the existence of the working poor.
He believes rent controls would stop unfair rent increases and foster a culture around renting that would make it a more viable long term option.
“This will not work unless it is done in conjunction with major investment in social housing, to take the pressure off in the private market,” he concluded.