herald

Wednesday 21 August 2019

One in four tenants fear losing homes from rent increases

One in four tenants fear losing homes from rent increases
One in four tenants fear losing homes from rent increases

Dubliners are more likely to experience hikes in their rent and be more fearful of losing their homes than people living elsewhere in the country.

A new survey has found major differences emerging between the experiences of Dublin renters and the rest of the country.

While nearly one in four of all tenants in the private rental sector are afraid of losing their home, this rises to 38pc for those living in the city.

Meanwhile, a staggering 42pc of Dubliners have seen their rent increase in the last 18 months, compared to 19pc in the rest of the country, according to the National Association of Building Co-operatives (NABCO) housing sentiment survey.

Some 67pc of city dwellers expect their rent to increase in the next 18 months, compared to 29pc of people in the rest of Ireland.

The survey has revealed that a quarter of all households are living in private rented accommodation, and people spend 30pc of their income on average on their accommodation. The figure is even higher for those who are on low incomes of less than €20,000, who spend 34pc of their income on rent, and for those over the age of 55, who spend 36pc.

Dubliners in private rental accommodation spend 35pc of their monthly income on housing, the survey showed. Overall, 44pc of renters are expecting hikes over the next year and a half.

"This survey is the first of its kind in Ireland, looking beyond the price of housing to try and explore the experiences of people in their homes," said NABCO's chief Kieron Brennan.

"We've found ample evidence to show the full scale and extent of the housing crisis in Ireland and its impact on families," he said.

Mr Brennan said the figures in the survey show major pent-up housing demand. More than one in ten households have someone looking to move out but can't, which amounts to 215,000 people.

It revealed that one in five 18 to 34-year-olds are living with their parents, and a third of them are living in households with three or more adults.

"The high price of accommodation and a shortage of properties are identified as the main barriers to people starting their own households," the expert said.

Nine in 10 respondents believed proposals from the Central Bank that would see most new mortgages require loan-to-value ratios of 80pc would make the situation worse.

Seven in 10 tenants feel that their current accommodation is meeting their needs, but one in four had problems with their house that have not been fixed.

fdillon@herald.ie

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