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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
SHUTTERSTOCK File image of a row of houses in Ireland
rent increase

Latest RTB report shows highest annual hike in new rents since the series began

The annualised rental inflation for new tenancies has again increased and now stands at the highest level since the RTB series began.

AVERAGE RENTS IN new tenancies increased nationally by 11.6%, the highest annual increase since the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) series began in 2007.

The RTB today launched its Rent Index Report for Q2 of this year, covering April to June 2023.

New rents increased by 11.6% between Q2 of 2022 and Q2 of this year.

The year-on-year rate of change in new tenancies in Dublin was 10%, but 11.7% outside of Dublin.

However, average rents in new tenancies in Dublin are considerably higher than the national average.

In Dublin, this figure is €2,102, against a national average of €1,574.

Leitrim is the county with the lowest average rent for new tenancies, at €879 per month.

There was also a stark quarter-on-quarter rate of change in new rents, standing at 5.2% nationally and 4.7% in Dublin.

Outside of Dublin, defined as outside Co Dublin, this quarterly rate of change is 6.1%.

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin has called for the Government to urgently ban rent increases following the latest RTB report.

He said the increases are “shocking” and added that Sinn Féin’s proposal to freeze rents “would have prevented these massive increases”.

“This is simply unsustainable,” said Ó Broin. “Renters cannot keep taking these kinds of rent hikes. They need a break.

“But this government does not care about renters. That much is clear.”

He also called on the government to “put a full month’s rent back in every private renter’s pocket”.

O’Broin also criticised increases for existing renters.

For the first-time, information on rent levels in existing tenancies have been included in the RTB index.

Previously, the RTB Rent Index only included new tenancies.

Rent levels for existing tenancies are lower than new tenancies, with a difference of €242 per month (€1,332 vs €1,574).

The average rent for existing tenancies nationally was €1,332 in Q2 of this year, and €1,767 in Dublin.

The average rate of increase nationally for existing renters is 5.3%, and 5.5% in Dublin and 4.7% outside of Dublin.

The quarter-on-quarter rate of change nationally is 1.1%, while that figure is 1.8% in Dublin and 1.7% outside of Dublin.

RTB Director Niall Byrne described the “production of an index that can track rent developments in all rents across the private rental sector as a major step forward”.

He added: “Over time, these indices will provide strong evidence and deeper insights into the private rental sector for the benefit of policymakers and the public.”

Rent Pressure Zone cap

Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin also claimed that the RTB data “shows there are clearly issues with some landlord’s compliance with the 2% Rent Pressure Zone cap”.

Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ) are in parts of the country where rents are highest and rising, and where households have the greatest difficulty finding affordable accommodation.

Rents in a RPZ cannot be increased by more than 2% per year.

The Residential Tenancies Board has said that its existing tenancies index doesn’t measure compliance with RPZ legislation.

The RTB added: “The 5.3% annual increase in rents in existing tenancies is not to be interpreted as a measure of compliance with the RPZ rules.

“This is a national figure that is based on existing tenancies, both inside and outside RPZs.”

The RTB further explained: “Year on year, the set of existing tenancy properties in the index will change as some tenancies end and others reach one year in duration and so are included.

“For this reason, it is not expected that the Existing Tenancy Rent Index could provide a measure of allowable rent increases in RPZs.

“The only reliable way to assess compliance with the RPZ rules is to track individual properties over time.”

However, Director of the RTB Niall Byrne said the organisation is “committed to ensuring compliance with rental law, particularly the requirements to register tenancies and to set lawful rents in RPZs”.

He added that the data available to the RTB as a result of the requirement to renew the registration of tenancies annually provides “very important information which the RTB can now use in planning its compliance and enforcement activities”.

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