Limerick tenants still struggling with rising rents

Jan O'Sullivan

RESPONDING to the latest report from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), Labour Party Housing spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan said that tenants are still facing rising rents, with those outside the rent pressure zones in Limerick experiencing a knock-on impact.

The latest Rent Index features a new cities model showing that rents are highest in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick. Cork at 5.2 per cent had lower annualised growth rates than Limerick at 10 per cent or Galway at 8.5 per cent and Waterford at 7.4 per cent.

“When you look past one of the takes from this latest Residential Tenancies report that shows a slowing in the growth rate of average national rent, we are left with another stark realisation: rent is still rising, with levels now above the highs hit before the housing market crash ten years ago,” Deputy O’Sullivan declared.

“We know that at the core of this problem is the crucial supply issue that must be addressed by Government, but also the fact that rent for new tenants is continuing to rise. This means that in the current competitive rental market where very little is actually available, people on normal incomes are being squeezed out.”

The Limerick politician maintains that if rent had been linked to the Consumer Price Index, as was proposed by the Labour Party, rents outside the pressure zones would have only seen rises of around .5 per cent in existing agreements.

“Greater transparency is also needed for new tenants signing on to new leases; there should be an onus on landlords to inform new tenants what the previous tenant was charged, so the spotlight can be shone on any extortionate rent increases. It’s long past time for a comprehensive response from Government to the growing number of people squeezed in a rental market that isn’t delivering,” she said.

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Commenting on the Rent Index, Residential Tenancies Board director Rosalind Carroll said; “The continued strong economic and demographic growth combined with restricted supply continues to put pressure on the rental market and those seeking a place to live. We see that, in the 6.4 per cent annual increase in new rents to the end of Q4 2017. However, this rate of increase has slowed from the previous quarter and the last time the annual growth rate in new rents was below this level was in Q1 2014.”

by Alan Jacques

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