CARLOW town has been designated a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ), which ensures that landlords here can only increase rents by 4% annually.
The designation is an acknowledgement of the soaring rental costs in the town, driven by a significant housing need, proximity to Dublin and high demand among students.
The Department of Housing confirmed last week that Carlow town will become the latest RPZ after the newest Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) rent index showed that between April and June Carlow met the criteria for inclusion. It brings to 44 the number of RPZs across the country.
Welcoming the news, deputy Pat Deering stated that as the economy has recovered, tenants in Carlow have been dealing with increasing rents over the last few years.
“Rents are simply too high in Carlow town now and they are rising unsustainably,” he said. “Where this is the case around the country, the government is stepping in to protect tenants. So I am really pleased that minister Eoghan Murphy has confirmed to me that Carlow Local Electoral Area is to be designated a rent pressure zone. It is something I have been working on with the minister for some time,” said deputy Deering.
“The protections of the RPZ will now extend to Carlow town and the nearby surrounding areas of Ballinacarrig, Johnstown and Burton Hall. This is great news for people in Carlow, following on from the designation of Graiguecullen as an RPZ earlier in the year. It is the most significant expansion of rent controls since the rent pressure zones were first introduced over two years ago.”
Under RPZ rules, rents cannot be increased by more than 4% a year. This applies to new and existing tenancies (unless an exemption is being applied) in areas where very steep rent hikes arose on foot of particularly high demand.
The RPZs work to moderate rent inflation. The government has also strengthened the enforcement of existing rent pressure zones, which sends a strong signal to landlords in relation to their responsibilities.