Saturday 24 February 2018

Average rent soars by 6.6pc as landlords warned about 'significant consequences' of hiking fees

Stock Image: GETTY
Stock Image: GETTY

Kathy Armstrong

Private sector rents soared by 6.6pc in the year up until June, according to a new report.

At the end of June the nationalised average standard rent was €1,017, up €63 compared to €954 year-on-year.

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) released their Q2 2017 Rent Index today, which shows that while quarter-on-quarter growth was relatively flat in the first three months of this year, this accelerated between April and the end of June.

Dublin is still our largest rental market and demand is particularly high, with rent now 10.8pc above the previous peak in the last three months of 2007.

This was mainly driven by the cost of renting an apartment, which increased by 4.4pc quarter-on-quarter, while privately leasing a house in Dublin grew by 0.9pc.

Outside of the capital rents are now 3.8pc below their 2007 peak levels.

The average cost of rent in Dublin grew by 3.3pc between April and June compared to January and March this year.

The report is compiled by the RTB in conjunction with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and is based on the actual rents being paid for over 19,000 new tenancies registered with the RTB during that quarter.

Stock Image
Stock Image

Following the introduction of Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ) by the Government last December the main index is compiled using the rents registered with the RTB for each Local Electoral Area.

According to the latest index two more LEAs meet the criteria to be classified as Rent Pressure Zones, before this there were 19 - including four in Dublin and also Cork City.

Ms Rosalind Carroll, Director of the RTB, said: “The findings for the second quarter of this year are a further reflection of the ongoing pressure in the rental sector as demand continues to outstrip supply, and with two further areas meeting the RPZ criteria. 

"These results reflect the second quarter since RPZs were first introduced. It is still too early to identify trends from these results, particularly in such a volatile market with restricted supply.

"Annually in the Dublin market we have had 3 quarters showing decline in the annual rate of growth from 8.5pc to 6.4pc and 5.8pc respectively.

"However, we did see quarter on quarter growth of 3.3pc in Quarter 2 in Dublin and we would have liked to have seen more evidence of further dampening of the market."

Ms Carroll also issued some advice for renters who may be working about their rent being hiked.

She said: “We would encourage any existing, or new tenants, who are faced with increases over and above the 4% cap to refer a dispute to the RTB, and the same advice applies to tenants entering a new tenancy.

"Even if a tenant has agreed to a rent in excess of the limit and signed a tenancy agreement, they are still protected under the law; they cannot contract out their rights.

"If a landlord has been found not to have not adhered to the limits, it can have significant consequences and damages of up to €20,000 can be awarded as well as repayment of the additional rent. Cases can be referred to the RTB up to six years after the tenancy was in place.”

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