Greystones narrowly missed cap
GREYSTONES missed out on the rent cap by just 0.2 per cent in one quarter period. ‘As a result, it will take at least six months before it can be considered for a cap again, regardless of the level of rent increases it experiences,’ said Cathaoirleach of Greystones Municipal District, Jennifer Whitmore.
Cllr Whitmore criticised what she called the Government’s ‘piecemeal’ approach to the implementation of the rent cap, saying it will put tenants in the Greystones area at risk of significant rental increases in the coming months.
Bray, Enniskerry and Wicklow qualified for the 4 per cent rental cap introduced at the end of January. The cap was applied where rental increases of 7 per cent or more were seen in four of the previous six quarters.
That figure was 6.8 per cent in quarter three of 2015, according to figures from the RTB.
‘What’s even more disconcerting is the fact that the Residential Tenancies Board, the body tasked with implementing this scheme, has told the Social Democrats that there is under-reporting of rent increases by landlords. This means that the data upon which the scheme is based is incorrect.’
She said that people in the area are afraid that they will no longer be able to afford their homes.
According to the Daft.ie rental price report for quarter four, 2016, rents rose by 13.5 per cent in County Wicklow. This was in line with the annual rate, which Daft said was the largest annual increase in rents ever recorded in their report, which dates back to 2002.
The average advertised rent in County Wicklow is now €1,140, up 48 per cent from its lowest point. At the time of going to press, a three-bedroom property in Redford Park was advertised at €1,600.
‘While measures to control rental inflation may help sitting tenants, they do little to address the underlying issue of a lack of supply,’ said Ronan Lyons of Daft.ie. ‘Indeed, they may hinder supply, by encouraging the exit of existing landlords who had not substantially increased rents in recent years. Addressing construction costs remains the best way of addressing supply shortages and the audit of build costs remains the single most important next step for policymakers, for that reason.’