'Rent pressure zones have failed completely': Cork rental market out of control, TD says

"Even those who can afford to rent cannot find somewhere to live.”
'Rent pressure zones have failed completely': Cork rental market out of control, TD says

“Rent pressure zones have failed completely — rents in the city have risen by almost 12% in the last year despite the minister’s claim that they can only rise by 4%,” Mr Gould said.

RENTS in Cork City are now completely out of control, a Cork TD has claimed.

With a new report showing rents at a record high and the number of properties available falling, the Housing Minister is being accused of “completely losing control of the Cork rental market”.

The claim was made by Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould, responding to the latest Daft.ie residential rental report.

“This week has seen story after story highlighting that the minister has completely lost control of the Cork rental market,” Mr Gould said. “Over 600 notices to quit in the first half of this year, properties completely failing to meet standards, and now, average rents are over €1,600 a month.”

He said private renting is no longer an option for someone working full time on minimum wage.

“Rent pressure zones have failed completely — rents in the city have risen by almost 12% in the last year despite the minister’s claim that they can only rise by 4%,” Mr Gould said.

“Stock is at an all-time low in Munster, averaging at only one fifth of what would have been expected from 2015 to 2019, and even those who can afford to rent cannot find somewhere to live.”

His Sinn Féin colleague, Cork-South Central TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, described the Daft.ie rent report as “deeply troubling”.

An annual rent inflation rate of 12.6% nationally is the highest recorded in the Daft.ie report since its launch in 2006, the previous peak being 11.8% in late 2016. Nationwide there were just 716 homes available to rent at the start of August, down from almost 2500 a year ago.

“State-wide, new rents have increased by almost 13% on last year, 23 counties have double-digit inflation, with average rents state-wide now €1,618 per month, and average rents in Cork of €1,670 per month, an absolutely astounding rate,” Mr Ó Laoghaire said.

“Two years in office and almost a year into his housing plan and Darragh O’Brien is presiding over record highs in rents, house prices, and homelessness.

“Meanwhile, social and affordable housing is well behind target, and the private rental sector is shrinking. We need a dramatic increase in funding to deliver 20,000 social and affordable homes every year for the next decade.

“We need emergency action to reduce homelessness and slow down the disorderly exit of landlords from the private rental sector,” Mr Ó Laoghaire said.

Situation 'dire' 

The Sinn Féin claims come as housing charity Threshold say record rent increases are creating a “dire” situation for renters nationwide.

Threshold chief executive John-Mark McCafferty said the charity had noted “a total disregard of the rules by certain landlords”, and said private renters should not be expected to pay unlawful rent increases.

“Threshold hopes to see enhanced supports for renters in the forthcoming Budget, as well as tax changes for landlords which are linked to improved security of tenure for tenants and their families,” Mr McCafferty said.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the Daft.ie index was not “official” and that it considers a few hundred properties that are available to rent.

“It’s important not to make the mistake of thinking that it’s an official statistic,” Mr Varadkar said. 

“But what is undeniable, and Government very much appreciates this, is that it is very hard to find somewhere to rent, and rents in Ireland are very high. 

We can increase supply, particularly of cost-rental properties, and they are coming on stream now where people can rent property at less than the market price.” 

Mr Varadkar said the Government will look at how to reduce the number of landlords leaving the sector.

This comes as the number of termination notices issued by landlords to tenants jumped by 58%, in the first six months of the year.

Mr Varadkar said landlords are finding it easier to sell their property rather than rent it.

“We need to reflect that and see what we can do to improve that,” he added.

The Department of Housing was contacted for comment.

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