Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (2909)

John Brassil

Ceist:

2909. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the areas of Tralee, Killarney and Listowel, County Kerry will be designated as rent pressure zones in view of the emerging upward trends relating to rents in the county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33101/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Section 24A of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, as amended, sets out the procedure for the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to prescribe, by order, an area as a Rent Pressure Zone. It provides that the Housing Agency, in consultation with the relevant housing authority, may make a written proposal to the Minister that an identified area be prescribed as an RPZ. Within 1 week of receipt of such a proposal, the Minister shall request the Director of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to furnish him, within 2 weeks, with a Rent Zone Report on whether the proposed area satisfies the criteria specified in subsection 24A(4) for designation as an 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 an RPZ.

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:

(a) 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

(b) 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 in Table 9 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.

Further information on Rent Pressure Zones and designations is available on my Department's website at https://www.housing.gov.ie/PUBLICATIONS, by searching 'rent pressure zones - information'.

The standardised average rent for outside the Greater Dublin Area stood at €841.00 in Q1 2019. The data from the Rent Index Report for Q1 2019 relating to the local electoral areas of Tralee , Killarney and Listowel County Kerry is detailed in the table below:

Local Electoral Area

Quarters > 7%

Average 2019 Q1

Tralee

3

€788.55

Killarney

3

€899.02

Listowel

0

€606.82

In Tralee, while the 3 of the last 6 quarters have seen rent inflation of 7% or greater, the average monthly rent of €788.55 is below the Non Greater Dublin Area (GDA) standardised average rent of €841 per month. Therefore, the Local Electoral Area of Tralee does not meet the criteria for designation at this time.

In Killarney, while the average monthly rent of €899.02 is above the Non Greater Dublin Area (GDA) standardised average rent of €841 per month, only 3 of the last 6 quarters have seen rent inflation of 7% or greater. Therefore, the Local Electoral Area of Killarney does not meet the criteria for designation at this time.

Listowel does not meet the criteria for designation under either criteria, as none of the past 6 quarters have seen rent inflation greater than 7% and the average rent of €606.82 is below the Non Greater Dublin Area (GDA) standardised average rent of €841 per month.

The Housing Agency continues to monitor the rental market and may recommend further areas for designation. Where, following the new criteria as set out in the 2019 Act, it is found at a future date that additional areas meet the criteria, they will be designated as Rent Pressure Zones.