I welcome the passing of the Sinn Féin Fair Rent Bill, brought by my colleagues Eoin O’Broin and Mark Ward, at second stage in the Dáil. The Bill, when it passes all stages, will put €1,500 per year back in the pockets of renters and freeze rents for a period of three years.
Rents in Mayo and right across this state are far too high and becoming more and more unaffordable.
The average rent in Mayo, according to Daft.ie is €762 for a three bedroom home or €545 for a one bedroom apartment. This is between 9% and 10% increase year on year.
While renters are paying inflated rents, they are trapped in the rental sector. They are finding it increasingly impossible to buy or build their own homes because they cannot save for a deposit.
This week, there are only 78 properties to rent in the whole of Mayo and most of these are priced out of the HAP scheme making it extremely difficult for anyone to find a property to rent. Mayo County Council has only had 21 new builds for the whole county.
Sinn Féin’s Rent Freeze (Fair Rent) Bill 2019 would freeze all rents on existing and new tenancies for a period of three years. The legislation also calls on the Minister for Finance to introduce a refundable tax credit for renters, equivalent to one month’s rent.
The Government has given tax breaks to developers, landlords and first time buyers. It is time to give renters a break. We also need to see more Social and affordable housing been built and in time this should free up the rental market.
The Sinn Féin Bill to freeze rents is just a start and a refundable tax credit for all renters will provided tenants with some breathing space.