Proper enforcement and rent register essential to stem rising rent levels
20 December 2017
The national housing charity, Threshold has reiterated its call for the introduction of a mandatory rent register and proper enforcement of legislation, after figures today from the Residential Tenancies Board showed an annualised growth rate of 9.5 per cent in average rent for new tenancies across the country and a 9.9 per cent year-on-year increase in Dublin. The figures show an average rent of €1,518 for Dublin, €1,086 for the Greater Dublin Area, and €811 for the rest of the country.
Commenting, chief executive of Threshold, John-Mark McCafferty said: “A mandatory rent register would create clarity for tenants. A property price register already exists in this country so we see no reason why a similar resource could not be developed for renters, who continue to find themselves in a very vulnerable position. Without disclosing the names of either the tenants or the landlords, a register would provide clarity to renters as to the level of rent they should expect to pay for a particular property. Enforcement of rent pressure zone legislation is clearly a problem and we find it ridiculous that the RTB won’t put in place this very simple measure, which would be hugely beneficial.”
Threshold chair, Dr Aideen Hayden added: “It is shocking that homeless figures continue to rise in this country and the only long-term solution to this is the development of social housing on a large scale. Recent figures from the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive show that the private rented sector is a huge driver of homelessness in the region, with nearly half of the newly homeless from June to August 2017 coming from the private rented sector. It is in crisis and it is not going to improve until legislation is enforced and tenants are aware of their rights and landlords of their obligations. While we welcome the RTB’s awareness campaign around Rent Pressure Zones, awareness alone is not going to improve the situation – the campaign will only be effective if it is followed up with proper enforcement.
“We are all too aware that some renters put up with substandard accommodation because they are simply too afraid of ending up homeless to take a case against their landlord. We also know of tenants being evicted from their homes on foot of illegal eviction notices because they did not know their rights. Nearly 300 tenants contacted Threshold in November in fear of losing their homes after receiving a notice of termination from their landlord – the highest monthly figure to date this year. Threshold’s Tenancy Protection Service plays a crucial role in keeping people in their homes and in preventing homelessness and we call on the Government to promote this service nationally.”
She added: “It is sad to say that we are seeing landlords enforcing eviction notices even this week and leaving people without homes for Christmas. Threshold will be operating an on-call service over Christmas. For anyone who is worried about losing their home, they can contact us on 085-8035625 between 10am and 4pm from Monday 25th December to Friday, 29th December. We will also provide this service on Monday, 1st January 2018.”