RENTAL CRISIS

Could Dundalk become a rent pressure zone?

Louth County Council are considering making the recommendation

Barry Landy

Reporter:

Barry Landy

Email:

barry.landy@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Could Dundalk become a rent pressure zone?

Dundalk could be in line to become a Rent Pressure Zone. Pic: Darran Rafferty.

Louth County Council have said they could be set to recommend Dundalk and the wider North Louth area being made a Rent Pressure Zone by the Department of Housing. 

Director of Services Joe McGuinness made the comment at last Monday's monthly meeting of the full council. He said there would likely come a time when the council would recommend such a move to the Department. 

"The council will likely recommend to the housing authority to bring in a Rent Pressure Zone," he said. 

In September, Drogheda was named as one of two new Rent Pressure Zones in the country, bringing the number to 21 in total. 

If an area is named a Rent Pressure Zone, rents in that area will only be able to rise by a maximum of 4% annually. However, nott all rental properties are covered by the 4% annual rental restriction.

These potential exemptions include properties that are new to the rental market and have not been let at any time in the previous two years and properties which have undergone a substantial change. 

McGuinness said the matter could be brought for consideration to the Housing SPC. The DoS' response came after a query from Sinn Féin councillor Ruairi O Murchu, who just last week said that rent pressure zones weren't having enough of an impact. 

"The introduction of rent pressure zones are not stopping rent increases," he said. "We need real rent certainty. This can only be achieved by linking rents to an index such as the Consumer Price Index.

In the last quarter of 2017, the average rent of new private sector properties in Dundalk had risen by €56 to €937, up 6.4%.