Two new towns designated 'rent pressure zones' as costs soar 6.6pc

Two new towns designated 'rent pressure zones' as costs soar 6.6pc”

It is thought rents in Dublin rose by 3.3%, from March to June this year, whilst both Drogheda, Co Louth, and Greystones, Co Wicklow have experienced sharp increase over the past 12 months.

The Residential Tenancies Board has confirmed that demand for rented accommodation in Dublin is "very high", but that outside Dublin rents are still 4% lower than their 2007 peak levels.

The cost of rent in the capital has increased by nearly €400 in the past four years.

The areas will now be designated as Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs), meaning that rents can not rise by more than 4% annually there.

This brings to 21 the number of rent pressure zones in the State.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has promised to take on landlords who are trying to get around rules limiting rent increases, as the rise in rental costs has picked up pace. Rents remained relatively flat in the opening quarter but accelerated by 2.89 per cent between April and June.

The Rent Index is based on rents being paid for over 19,000 new tenancies registered with the Residential Tenancies Board.

The Director of the Residential Tenancies Board, Rosalind Carroll, has admitted that she "would have liked to have seen more evidence of further dampening of the market", following the introduction or rent pressure zones.

But speaking from the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, Murphy said that some landlords may be seeking to "get around" the rules by carrying out refurbishment works on properties.

However, he argued that measures such as the Rent Pressure Zones "take time to bed down" - and stressed they will be modified as needed.

I am instructing my department and the RTB to formulate a definition of what constitutes "substantial refurbishment" of a dwelling that will issue from the RTB as guidance.

"We're still learning and understanding how it's working", he said of the new laws.

"Nor can we be complacent, with rents in Dublin now standing nearly 11% above the previous peak in 2007".

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