Rent Caps – Senior Politicians Promulgating Misinformation Is “Reprehensible” - IPAV

Friday 9th February, 2024


IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers, said on Friday it was irresponsible of politicians who in responding to the latest Residential Tenancies Board Rent Index for Q3 2023 suggested that landlords were breaching rent caps when the RTB itself said in the report that the existing tenancies Rent Index indicators “cannot be used to infer compliance or otherwise with Rent Pressure Zone legislation.”

Pat Davitt IPAV Chief Executive said: “In an era when misinformation is posing a real threat to democracies, including our own, such behaviour is reprehensible.

“That it’s coming from senior politicians whom one would expect to have read the detail of the report, it is totally irresponsible and it is contributing to the demonization of landlords,” he said.

Mr Davitt pointed out that in the latest data the year-on-year increase nationally in the standardised average rent in existing tenancies was 5.2% and the quarter-on-quarter increase was 2% 

“The RPZ legislation provides for a number of scenarios where a rent in excess of 2% can apply, for example, where the rent has not been reviewed yearly. Crucially also many of the figures in the data include areas not subject to RPZ legislation,” he said.

“No doubt there are rogue landlords but there is no evidence to suggest that this kind of bad behaviour is widespread, as is the clear message from some public representatives who themselves have been to the fore in criticising misinformation by others. ”

Mr Davitt also pointed out that the latest RTB Rent Index shows the number of new tenancies has dropped considerably year-on-year in Q3 2023, going from 22,463, to 14,000, a drop of 37.7%

“The RTB itself has described this as ‘substantial’ regardless of the possible impact of late registrations,” he said.

IPAV has for some time maintained that the introduction of the RPZ system has contributed to increasing rents that would otherwise not have ratcheted up in many areas, while keeping other rents at a low level that makes good property maintenance unviable over the longer term.

Mr Davitt pointed to the International Monetary Fund report in November that recommended the removal of rent caps saying: “reducing the complexity and restrictiveness of rent legislations, notably replacing rent caps with more targeted housing support for poor households, would help increase rental housing supply.”

He said the future in relation to rent supply “looks challenging.”

“BNP Paribas recently found the Irish investment property market down almost 70% in 2023 compared with the previous year. We need to encourage landlords to invest in the market, not demonise them,” he concluded.