Ark­low added to new list of rent pres­sure zones

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS - By EIMEAR DODD

ARK­LOW has been in­cluded in the lat­est rent pres­sure zone list and has be­come a rent pres­sure zone as of yesterday (Tues­day).

The Res­i­den­tial Ten­an­cies Board (RTB) an­nounced on Tues­day that the town was one of the 19 Lo­cal Elec­toral Ar­eas (LEAs) across 11 coun­ties that have been des­ig­nated a Rent Pres­sure Zone.

It’s af­ter rents rose to 8.3 per cent over the last 12 months na­tion­ally ac­cord­ing to new fig­ures from the RTB. In the Jan­uary to March pe­riod of 2019, the stan­dard­ised na­tional av­er­age rent was €1,169 per month, up from €1,079 one year ear­lier which rep­re­sents a €90 in­crease.

Once an area be­comes a Rent Pres­sure Zone, rents can­not be in­creased by more than 4 per cent per year. This ap­plies to new and ex­ist­ing ten­an­cies un­less an ex­emp­tion is be­ing ap­plied.

RTB Di­rec­tor Ros­alind Car­roll said, ‘it is re­ally im­por­tant that land­lords and ten­ants go to where they can check if their rental home is in a rent pres­sure zone and what rent can be charged.’

The new Res­i­den­tial Ten­an­cies (Amend­ment) Act 2019 in­tro­duced changes to the cri­te­ria to as­sess whether an area can be des­ig­nated as a rent pres­sure zone. The new cri­te­ria means that ar­eas can be com­pared to more re­gion­ally ap­pro­pri­ate stan­dard­ised av­er­age rents.

Com­ment­ing on the an­nounce­ment, lo­cal TD Min­is­ter for Health Si­mon Harris said it was ‘good news for peo­ple rent­ing in the Ark­low area.’

‘In Co Wick­low, we have a num­ber of ar­eas now in­cluded in the Rent Pres­sure Zones. Bray, Grey­stones, and Wick­low town are all cov­ered by the leg­is­la­tion at present and now with the ad­di­tion of the Ark­low Lo­cal Elec­toral Area, we have pro­tec­tions in place for renters in all of the higher de­mand ar­eas.

‘From my work in the com­mu­nity and through my con­stituency clin­ics, it is clear to me that pro­vid­ing cer­tainty re­mains a vi­tal is­sue through­out the com­mu­nity. I am pleased this news to­day will help renters in the Ark­low area. I will con­tinue to work with Wick­low County Council and my Gov­ern­ment col­leagues to en­sure hous­ing sup­ply in our county is pri­ori­tised.’

Ark­low ten­ants and land­lords are be­ing urged to check the RTB’s web­site as the des­ig­na­tion, which came into effect on Tues­day, July 2, im­pacts what rent can be charged. Gorey in Wex­ford was also among the 19 rent pres­sure zones an­nounced.

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