Social Democrats general election candidate in Meath West, Ronan Moore, has today called on the government to move immediately to protect renters, as rents hit an all-time high according to latest housing reports from property website Daft.ie.

According to the most recent quarterly report published by Daft.ie, rents across the country have soared by 12.4% in the past year. In Meath, there has been a 13% increase in the average monthly rent in the past year. The average rent in Meath is now €1,252 per month, having increased by a staggering 94% since 2011. Across the country rents are now 27 per cent higher than at the peak of the Celtic Tiger.

Mr Moore says:

“The recent Daft.ie report showing a 13% increase in rents across Meath in the past year is devastating. Rent pressure zones were supposed to curb rent increases by capping rents in key urban areas. It is now beyond time for the government to face facts – rent pressure zones have failed. The Minister for Housing needs to declare a national emergency and immediately link rents to the Consumer Price Index until there is sufficient housing to drive down rents.

Social Democrats National conference 2018 Pic Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX

Mr Moore adds:

“These figures show that rents are at totally unsustainable levels across the country, causing untold misery and hardship for individuals and families. Not only are families struggling to pay ever increasing costs and keep a roof over their heads, they are living in fear of their tenancy being ended with little notice.

We know that many landlords are selling up houses now that sale prices are increasing and it is incredibly difficult for these renters to find new tenancies because of low supply and high costs.  I am hearing from young people – and that now refers to anyone in their 20s and 30s – that there is no possible way they could afford to live independently and are reliant on continuing to live with their parents.

These people are the hidden homeless. We are starting to see some of them in desperate situations presenting at homeless services, but the true number of adults and children living close to the fringes of homelessness, in insecure, short term housing, is far, far higher than official figures suggest.

The desperately sad thing is that we have been here before. Each year that passes sees rents soaring and the number of men, women and children living in hotel rooms increasing. It is a national shame on our country and on the government that is presiding over it.

The Social Democrats recently published a Renters’ Charter, a 12-point plan that would provide for indefinite tenancies, and give real breathing space and more security for all tenants. We need to see nationwide rent caps linked to inflation that are properly policed by strengthened regulation.

Currently the minimum notice period for termination of tenancies is as low as 28 days. Our Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill 2018 extends the minimum notice period for termination of tenancies to a minimum of 3 months and up to 7 months, depending on how long the tenancy has been.”