Digital Desk Staff
The Government has ordered a crackdown on rogue landlords as rents have surged by as much as 17 per cent in some parts of the country.
As the Irish Examiner reports, there have even been hikes of as much as 11 per cent in high-demand areas where rental price increases are supposed to be controlled.
The average monthly rent nationwide now stands a €1,352 per month, up 7 per cent year-on-year.
Housing minister Darragh O'Brien has instructed the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to "aggressively identify and pursue" rogue landlords.
He warned that some landlords are flouting the Government's Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) legislation, which dictates that increases cannot be higher than general inflation.
However, an expert on housing policy, Dr Rory Hearne, said the latest rent increases are further proof that Government measures to protect tenants are failing.
Dr Hearne, assistant professor in social policy at Maynooth University, said calls for a clampdown on landlords are pointless unless the RTB is given extra powers and resources.
“There is a need for the RTB to be really strengthened in its powers, to fine landlords, to really step up its resources,” he said.
He accused the Government of making policies based on fear of driving landlords out of the market.
“In their heads, in policy, the Government is constantly afraid that if they put in too many measures in favour of tenants that landlords will leave the market,” he said.
"You can’t run your policy on the basis of being afraid of what landlords are going to do.
“The policy needs to assert that the rental system provides homes for people first, and that it is an investment asset secondary.”
In Cork City, year-on-year increases of 6.3 per cent were reported in the second quarter of this year, bringing average rents to €1,344.