With private rents now 10% higher across the country compared to a year ago, more measures are needed in addition to full rent certainty to stop people losing their homes, the Simon Communities has urged.

The latest Residential Tenancies Board rent index shows that, nationally, rents rose by just under 10% during the second quarter of this year, compared with a year earlier.

The index also shows that significant increases were not confined to the Dublin region, but also occurred in other parts of the country.

The RTB’s Quarterly Rent Index is compiled on its behalf by the Economic and Social Research Institute and is the most accurate and authoritative rent report of its kind in Ireland.

The index is based on 22,103 new tenancies which commenced in April, May and June this year and were registered with the RTB.

It reflects the actual rents being paid, according to the RTB’s records, as distinct from the asking or advertised rent.

In particular, it shows that properties with a weekly rate of more than €300 are up from 7% in 2013 to 25% now.

Nationally, rents were 9.9% higher over the second quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year — up from €869 to €956.

Rents for houses were 9.3% higher — up from €850 to €929, while apartment rents were 11.7% greater than in the same quarter of 2015 — up from €908 to €1,014.

The RTB now has a total of 323,271 tenancies registered, representing 172,121 landlords and 704,332 occupants.

The Simon Communities said the RTB’s rent index showed that the market is not slowing down, despite rent stability measures introduced last year.

The homeless and housing organisation said additional initiatives are needed alongside rent stability measures.

National spokeswoman for the Simon Communities, Niamh Randall, said the Government must prioritise the proposed Strategy for the Private Rental Sector.

Ms Randall said many of the people who are becoming homeless are coming from the private rental sector and insisted that action must include rent certainty and enhanced security of tenure for both landlords and tenants.

“The rent stability measures that were introduced in November 2015 are having little impact as rents are continuing to rise,” she said.

Ms Randall said the solutions to this crisis involved preventing people from losing their homes and providing access to decent, affordable housing.

The chairperson of the housing charity, Threshold, said many of its clients had experienced rent increases as high as 30%.

Speaking on RTÉ radio yesterday, Dr Aideen Hayden compared the rental market to a runaway train and called for urgent action.

Dr Hayden said the organisation is disappointed that the Government’s housing strategy did not introduce a model of rent certainty to link rents to an index.

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