Rent Madness – We Need Controls

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Rents in Dublin are rising by 7 percent on an annual basis. The average is now €1,713 a month which is a rise of €114 compared to three months ago. The figures show that the government policy of rent pressure zones is not working.

It was never meant to work – it was a PR spin from a failed government because it provided a series of loopholes which allowed landlords to push up rents. They can use the excuse of ‘substantial improvements’ to evict tenants and charge higher rents for new arrivals.

The government did not even introduce a public rental register so that new tenants could check that the rent had not risen by over 4 percent.

People are now paying so much rent that they cannot save to buy a house. House prices have also risen dramatically because Fine Gael refuse to take any measures to control the price of land.

The normally moderate ESRI has slammed the government for not imposing a proper vacant site levy to stop land speculation. It is currently set at only 3% which is well below the value that a speculator gets for just sitting on it.

Professor Kieran McQuinn from the ESRI summed up what is happening by voicing the speculators’ prevailing view on hoarding land: “Why would I go to the hassle of trying to build properties or increase housing supply on the land that I own when I witness the cost and value of that land going up year on year?”

We need proper rent controls, security for tenants, and controls on the price of building land to reduce property prices.