Cobh, Glanmire and Little Island could be added to rent control areas

Cobh, Glanmire and Little Island could be added to rent control areas
Aerial view of Cobh. Picture: Richard Mills.

RENT relief may be on the horizon for residents in Cobh, Glanmire and Little Island.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney is believed to be looking into the possibility of extending the rent caps introduced in other county towns earlier this year.

The Cobh electoral district was among those left disappointed after the new measures were introduced at the end of January, capping rent rises at 4% per annum for residents in areas such as Ballincollig, Douglas and Rochestown.

Residents outside the zones are open to further increases, heightening concerns on a county-wide basis.

The most recent rent reports published by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) show that the average rent in Cork city is €988, with several county towns exceeding this level.

Supply shortages throughout the county have motivated significant increases, though, with rent in Glanmire averaging €958 per month, an increase of more than €100 in less than two years.

The identity of the new areas set to be added to the rent pressure index will be revealed after the RTB publishes its rent index for the last quarter of 2016, with areas required to be facing an annual rent inflation of 7% or more in four of the last six quarters to qualify for the scheme.

Meanwhile, the Department of Finance is also believed to be increasing its efforts to ease pressure on the housing market.

Tax-breaks for so-called 'accidental landlords' are among several proposals in the pipeline in a bid to encourage private landlords to remain in the market and boost supply.

Concerns had been raised nationally that private landlords were seeking to exit the market in the face of stricter controls.

A public consultation on the matter has also raised the possibility of transferring the property tax burden from landlords to tenants in a bid to maintain supply in the market.

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