14th December 2016
Social Democrats Cllr Jennifer Whitmore has said today’s announcement of the Government’s rental strategy must include measures to alleviate the rental pressure in County Wicklow.
According to Whitmore, areas such as Bray and Greystones in Wicklow are just some examples of areas where average rents are at least on par with some Dublin City and County rents.
Speaking ahead of the Government announcement, Whitmore said: “I am concerned with reports of the long awaited rental strategy on a number of levels.”
“It would appear that only 2 areas – Dublin and Cork – will be categorised as so-called ‘rent pressure zones’. Renters in Wicklow, particularly in the north of the county, pay rents that are comparable to rents paid in Dublin and the Minister must take this into account.”
“Interestingly, the language around this issue has changed from rent certainty to rent predictably. In fact, what we must be talking about is rent affordability. The Government’s proposed measures will allow for a 4% per annum rental increase in so-called ‘rent pressure zones’ , which is approx. 40 times higher than the CPI. Current rent levels are already out of control and the Government must look at measures which will reduce, rather than maintain, these unaffordable rent levels.”
“With regard to the identification of ‘rent pressure zones’, reports indicate that the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) will monitor prices over an 18-month period, and if there are above-average increases for four out of the six quarters, then the RTB can recommend to the Minister that he declare a ‘pressure zone’. However, it unclear as to whether a retrospective monitoring of rents will occur. It will be unacceptable if areas outside of Dublin and Cork need to wait months before these zones are identified.”