Time for Rent Pressure Zone change

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There needs to be a review of the existing criteria of designating a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) as Kerry communities do not qualify even though they are experiencing significant rent increases.

The RPZ designation is crucial because it caps annual rent increases within these zones to protect tenants from sudden and excessive hikes.

According to the current criteria, an area must experience rent increases of at least 7% in at least four of the previous six quarters to be in contention as an RPZ. 

However Kenmare Local Electoral Area (LEA) has seen a nearly 42% increase in rents from Q3 2019 to Q3 2023, but it does not qualify as an RPZ under the current framework because it does not meet the specific quarterly increase criterion 

In contrast, Westport LEA in Co. Mayo, which has seen a 40% increase over the same period qualified as an RPZ last year. This demonstrates the limitations of the current method in reflecting the overall pressure on renters.

The criteria should be widened to include for instance, overall cumulative increases over a couple of years. Certainly a 42% increase over the course of four years should prompt some action to help communities.

Our communities are under immense pressure, and the current RPZ criteria do not fully capture the burden on renters in areas like the Kenmare Municipal District – and I’m sure other areas all around the country,

I really think we need to find some way that reflects the nuances of the housing market and put in place effective safeguards for renters facing escalating costs.

“I hope they do something quickly. The current housing crisis requires flexible and responsive measures to ensure all communities benefit from protections against unreasonable rent increases.”

Link to RTB Q3 reports of 2019 and 2023: RTB REPORTS