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Rental Sector

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (264)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

264. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage if he will extend the rent pressure zones to include electoral areas in County Donegal to reflect the recent sharp increases in rent in some areas of the county and the knock-on impact of the mica defective concrete block crisis. [61373/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Section 24A of the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004, as amended, provides that the Housing Agency, in consultation with housing authorities, may make a proposal to the Minister that an area should be considered as a Rent Pressure Zone. Following receipt of such a proposal, the Minister requests the Director of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to conduct an assessment of the area to establish whether or not it meets the criteria for designation and to report to the Minister on whether the area should be designated as a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ). For the purpose of the Act, ‘area’ is defined as either the administrative area of a housing authority or a Local Electoral Area (LEA) within the meaning of section 2 of the Local Government Act 2001. There is no provision for any other type of area to be designated as a Rent Pressure Zone.

The criteria to be satisfied by an area under section 24A(4) of the Residential Tenancies Act for designation as an RPZ are as follows:

the information relating to the area, as determined by reference to the information used to compile each RTB Rent Index quarterly report, shows that the annual rate of increase in the average amount of rent for that area is more than 7% in each of at least 4 of the 6 quarters preceding the period immediately prior to the date of the Housing Agency's proposal, and

the average rent for the area in the last quarter, as determined by reference to the information used to compile each RTB Rent Index quarterly report, is –

in the case of counties Kildare, Meath and Wicklow or an LEA in any one of those counties, above the average rent in the State, excluding rents in the 4 Dublin Local Authority areas, or

in the case of any LEA outside of the Greater Dublin Area (i.e. Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow), above the average rent in the State, excluding rents in the Greater Dublin Area.

Each RTB quarterly Rent Index Report includes a summary table of the data used to establish whether each Local Electoral Area fulfils the criteria for designation as a Rent Pressure Zone. This ensures transparency in relation to the position of individual areas in terms of average rent levels and increases.

The RTB Rent Index measures rent increases in LEAs using the 2019 boundaries for these LEAs and there is no specific measure to calculate rental increases broken down to any lower level (i.e. part of an LEA).

The Housing Agency and the RTB will continue to monitor national rents and if any LEA in Donegal meets the designation criteria it will be designated as a RPZ.

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