Introduction and Purpose
Rent supplement provides short-term support to eligible people living in private rented accommodation, whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation costs and who do not have accommodation available to them from any other source. Since 2005, rent supplement expenditure has increased from €369 million to a provisional outturn of €503 million in 2011. The number of persons claiming the allowance increased from almost 60,200 persons in 2005 to over 96,800 at end 2011, a 61% increase.
As the Department currently funds approximately 40% of the private rented sector it is essential that State support for rents are kept under review, reflect current market conditions and do not distort the market in way that could increase rent prices for low paid workers and students.
New maximum rent limits came into force on 1 January 2012. These new limits are in line with the most up to date market data available. The emphasis of the rent limit review was to ensure that maximum value for money for tenants and the taxpayer was achieved whilst at the same time ensuring that people on rent supplement are not priced out of the market for private rented accommodation.
Since the last review (June 2010), rental values have stabilised at or near the maximum rent limits. The purpose of this review is to assess the current maximum rent limits and to re-establish new limits based on availability at approximately the 40
th percentile (40% of housing supply) in each particular market and to ensure that maximum rent limits are placed at appropriate price points.
The Department used publicly available data sources to ascertain both the market trends and the current asking prices for one, two and three bedroom properties throughout Ireland on a county by county basis. The only exception to this was Dublin, in which it was decided to isolate Fingal as a separate entity. The following were the main data sources used:
Daft.ie Rental Market Reports: This is a leading rental report in the market.
- Leading websites advertising properties for rent.
Central Statistics Office (CSO) Rental Indices: The CSO collects price data on rental accommodation from thirty-three letting agents in seventeen locations around the country. Dublin with eight and Cork with six quotes respectively are the areas with greatest coverage. Each of the areas quoted is weighted by reference to their population.
Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) Databases: A snapshot of the PRTB’s database which stores all annual rental values and relevant addresses.
Both Daft.ie and CSO indices were used to establish and agree overall rental trends. Daft allowed trend analysis for 1, 2 and 3 bedroom properties on a regional basis.