The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien has noted the Residential Tenancies Board’s Rent Index Report for Q3 2021 published today, Friday December 17th 2021. It is produced in conjunction with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). This Index Report is based on actual rents paid in respect of the 15,042 private tenancies that were newly registered with the RTB during Q3 2021 and does not provide a measure of the rental prices payable in respect of tenancies registered before that Quarter.
Nationally, private rents grew by 8.3 per cent in Q3 2021. This growth rate is higher than that of the previous quarter (7.0 per cent) and the highest since Q4 2017 (which recorded growth of 8.4 per cent). Standardised average rent stood at €1,397 in Q3 2021 – a quarterly increase of €44.
Minister Darragh O’Brien said: “As always, my Department will work closely with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to ensure RPZ legislation is fully enforced. We also note the significant fall in the number of new tenancies registered during Q3 2021.
“It is very important that we keep increasing public awareness of the suite of tenancy protections in place to regulate rent-setting under the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2021. Since 2019, the RTB has enhanced powers of investigation and sanctioning and additional resources to ensure that the full protections against unlawful rents in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) can be enforced. The RTB now has a dedicated webpage to publish the particulars of sanctions imposed on landlords, and this work continues to grow.
“In September, I formally asked the RTB to instigate a campaign to identify and pursue non-compliance with rent-setting responsibilities. This is now under way and I have been informed that hundreds of letters a day are currently issuing to landlords. The letters will notify landlords that, according to RTB records, there may be a breach of rent-setting rules in respect of a particular dwelling in a RPZ. If it transpires that no exemption to the rules apply and that there was a breach, they will need to arrange for the repayment of rent to their tenant or former tenant. If the RTB was not notified of the application of an exemption, the landlord will need to comply with the obligation to notify the RTB accordingly. The RTB may formally commence an investigation leading to a possible sanction being imposed in some cases.
“This is a complex area and it is critical to educate and raise awareness of landlord and tenant legal obligations in the rental sector. For example, landlords need to be aware that the rent controls in RPZs apply when creating new tenancies in existing rental properties. The amount of the rent paid under last tenancy will inform the maximum permissible rent for the new tenant. The RTB’s website has an RPZ calculator to help set lawful rents and detailed guidance on rent setting so there is no excuse for a landlord to set an unlawful rent in a RPZ. Any unlawful rent setting in RPZs will be dealt with in a serious manner by the RTB and enforcement will ensue to do right by tenants.
“The Government is serious in its efforts to curtail rent inflation. The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2021 was enacted on the 11th of December and caps any rent increases in a RPZ at 2% per annum pro rata in RPZs, when HICP inflation is higher. The RTB will be enforcing this new rent cap.”