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Ó Murchú calls for Rent Pressure Zones to be introduced in North Louth

Ó Murchú calls for Rent Pressure Zones to be introduced in North Louth

Local councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has called for Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) to be introduced in North Louth.

Reacting to the latest rental report which shows the average rent for a property in Louth now stands at €1,121 following a 13.5% increase year-on-year, the Sinn Féin representative said Rent Pressure Zones were needed to prevent rents from raising even further in future months.

The Dundalk South representative said: “These latest figures from the property website show that the average rent for a three bedroom house in Louth is €1,121, which is a massive hike of 83.6% on rents at their lowest during the recession.

“There are no rent pressure zones in Dundalk despite the huge increase in rents over the past couple of years in the town. This issue was raised by me at a recent Louth County Council meeting, which led to a presentation by the Housing Agency at the SPC last week.

“We were told that Dundalk South will soon be proposed as a Rent Pressure Zone by the Housing Agency. This is something to be welcomed but it needs to happen alongside Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy’s proposals around enforcement of the rent price increases within the zones.

“There are other proposals about the strengthening the powers of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to carry out inspections. This would require additional resources for the RTB and local authorities so that they can carry out these vital inspections in a proper and timely manner.

“In real terms, Sinn Féin wants to see rents linked to a more realistic base, such as Consumer Price Index, which would ensure a greater level of rent certainty.”

The Bay Estate man, who will look to replace Gerry Adams as the party’s TD at the next General Election, also called for a better way of assessing rents in Dundalk town.

“We also believe that the rules around the designation of the zones and the assessment criteria used are flawed because urban Dundalk should be looked at on its own, rather than the current system of considering Local Electoral Areas. While the town is included, there are significant parts of Dundalk South and Dundalk Carlingford that are rural.

“This can skew the averages on which the Housing Agency are relying. The rents are racing through the roof in Dundalk and other parts of Louth and we are sitting waiting on the ‘criteria’ to be met so the zones can be introduced,” he said.

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