Rent Pressure Zone extended to 2021 to combat rental crisis

Galway Daily news Rent Pressure Zone extended until 2021

The Rent Pressure Zone in Galway has been extended to the end of 2021 amid an ongoing rental crisis.

The Rent Pressure Zone impose a 4% limit on how much rent can be raised on tenants within the zone each year.

The RPZs were introduced in 2016 to combat spiralling rents, and were due to expire later this year.

However as that crisis has not yet abated, the lifespan of the RPZs have been extended, along with other changes to regulations governing the rental sector.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said “Not only are we now extending rent controls out to the end of 2021, we are also changing the criteria to capture more areas experiencing high rent inflation, and closing down avenues that allowed some landlords to escape rent controls.”

Exemptions to price caps under the RPZ due to renovations made by the landlord must now either be a “permanent extension increasing the floor area by 25%” or either a permanent alteration to the internal layout, alterations to make it suitable for a person with a disability, or a permanent increase in the number of rooms.

Though meant to contain rents within a fixed cap, there have been questions about the effectiveness of the Rent Pressure Zone, as some tenants in Galway city have seen their rents increase by far more than that in recent years.

One significant change that has been made of great interest to Galway is in regards to student-specific accommodation.

Where previously purpose built student accommodation was exempt from the 4% cap in the Rent Pressure Zone, alterations to the Residential Tenancies Act will now apply it and other rental obligations to such properties.