Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (569)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

569. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason Limerick city is not designated as a rent pressure zone despite an increase of 17.1% in rents in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20816/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar 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. For the purpose of the Act, ‘area’ is defined as either the administrative area of a housing authority or a local electoral area 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.

For an area to be designated as a Rent Pressure Zone, it must satisfy the following criteria set out in section 24A(4) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (as inserted by section 36 of the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016):

(i) The annual rate of rent inflation in the area must have been 7% or more in four of the last six quarters; and

(ii) The average rent for tenancies registered in the area with the RTB in the last quarter must be above the average national rent (the National Standardised Rent in the RTB’s Rent Index Report) in the last quarter (€1,054 per month in Q4 2017).

On 21 March 2018, the RTB published its Rent Index Report in relation to Quarter 4 2017, which includes a summary of the data used as the criteria for designating Rent Pressure Zones in relation to all Local Electoral Areas in the country. This allows all interested parties to see exactly where their area stands in relation to average rent levels and increases and possible designation.

The data from the Rent Index Report relating to Limerick City are detailed in the following table:

Local Electoral Area

Quarters >7%

Average 2017 Q4

(€)

Limerick City East

3

€1,039.82

Limerick City North

6

€862.98

Limerick City West

4

€961.48

In each of the three Limerick Electoral Areas, the average monthly rent is below the national standardised rent of €1,054 per month. Therefore, none of the Local Electoral Areas of Limerick City met the criteria for designation.

The Housing Agency will continue to monitor the rental market and may recommend further areas for designation. Where, following the procedures set out in the Act, it is found at a future date that additional areas meet the criteria, they will be designated as Rent Pressure Zones.