Keep Them Honest

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A map of Dublin rent increases

You paid HOW much?

David Hartery writes:

Doing a little experiment with the Campaign for Public Housing. Can you add your last few addresses and what the rent you paid to rent those rooms were at that time to this map (interactive here) so we can start to build a picture of how rents increased per property over time?

There is meant to be a four per cent rent cap in ‘rent pressure zones’ and we are trying to identify landlords who are increasing the rent beyond that level — without carrying out substantial renovations or otherwise improving the property to the point that an increase of about four per cent is justified.

By adding in these prices we can look to see who the most greedy landlords are – as well as giving a resource to all tenants to fight back against grasping landlords.

Simply add your rent to the marker that is already there – or add a marker for your address – and then we will start to populate the map with as many rental prices as we can find.

Crowdsourcing A Picture Of Dublin Rent Increases

Thanks Dr Evan Keane

39 thoughts on “Keep Them Honest

  1. Anne

    Is this the wild west or something?

    Landlords cannot increase rent beyond the 4% per year limit in rent pressure zones.
    People should not pay anything more than this.

    Landlords may be entitled to apply -and they have to apply – for an exemption to the percentage increase if they have carried out substantial changes to the property. Renovations are not considered substantial changes.
    There are guidelines on what is considered substantial changes.

    https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/images/uploads/Comms%20and%20Research/RTB_Guidelines_for_good_practice_on_the_substantial_change_exemption_in_Rent_Pressure_Zones.pdf

    A substantial refurbishment does not always equate to a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation. Therefore, it is important that a landlord considers the termination of a tenancy and any
    subsequent claim of an RPZ (Rent Pressure Zone) exemption separately. This guide should assist landlords in doing this and support tenants in understanding their rights in these situations

    It’s time for renters to start growing up, get educated and stop bowing down to authority in the form of landlords. If it’s your home, which it is, when you reside there, you have rights and you’re not subject to the whim of whatever a person feels like doing.

    1. Killian G

      ANNE,

      With all due respects you have enormous difficulties with basic comprehension which you display again and again on this site. I would like to help you. Lets start with this:

      “Landlords may be entitled to apply -and they have to apply – for an exemption to the percentage increase if they have carried out substantial changes to the property. ”

      Can you please show me where you read that?

      1. anne

        Read the bit in italics in my comment. That’s from the rtb. There’s also a link.

        Will I highlight it for you? I suggest you read slowly.

        1. Killian G

          I am going to type this out snail-slow for you – so apologies for the delay.

          I am asking about your assertion that “Landlords may be entitled to apply -and they have to apply – for an exemption”…

          They do not have to apply.

          Page 4 of the link you provide says:

          “…. a landlord
          can apply the exemption for either rent
          setting purposes or for the purposes of
          a rent review of an existing tenant only
          after the substantial change occurs. They
          cannot continue to apply this exemption
          for any following rent reviews.”

          READ SLOWLY: “… can apply the exemption…”

          That DOES NOT MEAN the landlord must apply FOR the exemption.

          Page 5 of the linked document even says:

          “It is a matter for the landlord to satisfy
          themselves that there has been a
          substantial change in the nature of the
          accommodation as a direct result of the
          works being carried out”

          Do you have any questions? As I said I am happy to help.

          1. Anne

            They have to apply the correct procedures
            Better? Trot along now troll.

            Page 10

            5. What steps are required to utilise a substantial change in the nature
            of the accommodation exemption?

            In summary it must follow a two step rule:
            1. Ensure that it meets the criteria using the guiding principles above
            Have the works carried out substantially changed the nature of the accommodation; and
            (ii) as a result of those works, would the rent level have been different to the
            market rent level at the time the rent was last set?

            2. Ensure the tenant is provided with the required information
            If the property is within an RPZ and the landlord is seeking to rely on the
            substantial change exemption, the rent review notice must also confirm
            that the exemption is being relied on

            For new tenancies of dwellings previously subject to a tenancy in an RPZ, a landlord needs to comply with their obligations to provide: written information to the tenant on the amount of rent that was last set under the previous
            tenancy; the date that rent was last set; and a statement explaining how the
            rent was calculated considering the RPZ requirements.

          2. Killian G

            Yes better. And well done.So the assertion that landlords must apply for an exemption was pulled out of your backside. Trot on now. Glad I was able to help you.

            Best not though to be making silly incorrect statements about things you do not understand.

  2. Rusty Donn

    Access to the website blocked by my anti-virus software (C2/Generic-A) as it is detecting malware… Not a great start lads!

  3. Aaaa

    ”There is meant to be a four per cent rent cap in ‘rent pressure zones’ and we are trying to identify landlords who are increasing the rent beyond that level — without carrying out substantial renovations or otherwise improving the property to the point that an increase of about four per cent is justified.
    By adding in these prices we can look to see who the most greedy landlords are – as well as giving a resource to all tenants to fight back against grasping landlords”

    This assumes that the landlord was charging the market rate when the legislation was introduced. Believe it or not there are some landlords who are exactly the opposite of greedy who haven’t increased rent to existing tenants over the last few years when it’s surged. Should they only be allowed to raise the rent by 4% should the existing tenant move out? In some cases this 4% increase wouldn’t even take into account the inflation that occurred over the period of the tenant who was moving out.
    This legislation has impacted on a fair landlord (who didn’t gouge the tenants with price increases at every opportunity) far more than on the greedy one who tried to increase it at every opportunity available and thus had higher rents when the legislation was introduced. In the future, I think it will encourage landlords to do everything in their power to jack up rent when they can, because otherwise legislation may be passed to make up for the failings of housing policy by restricting the rent.

    1. anne

      Some weren’t always greedy but they are now being restricted in being greedy with the legislation and that’s not fair to them as they weren’t always greedy and were not gouging like the others.

      I don’t get this view.

      That could be easily fixed by having proper rent freezes & capped rents across the board, not limits on various amounts already set by landlords.

      1. Killian G

        Again incorrect.

        The legislation was amended so as not to penalise fair-acting landlords. If a Landlord does not increase the rent by 4% for say 4 years (perhaps out of loyalty to a good tenant or otherwise), that landlord is then entitled to introduce a cumulative increase in the fifth year. So that landlord could hold rent stable for years and then increase by 20% in the fifth year.

        1. Aaaa

          Thanks for the reply, I wasn’t aware of this amendment. I feel part of my original point still stands, in that they were going to introduce legislation which was flawed, hence the need for the amendment. Hard to know why it wasn’t incorporated in the first place.

          Do you know if the period when the increase is allowed is definitely set at 5 years?And only if the existing tenant leaves?

          1. Killian G

            No it is not set at 5 years. I was just using that as an ecample. And it can be done at any time, not just when a tenant leaves. It does present a problem for tenants. For example, a colleague of mine was renting for several years from a friends aunt. He started out paying market rent but she never increased it so in the end he was paying just €700 for a one bedroom apartment in the Batchelors Walk building.The landlord died and eventually it was sold to an investor. He immediately told my friend that he was increasing the rent by 8%. My friend argued it saying it could only be 4%. It went to the RTB and they said it could be actually two years of increase BUT because hois tenancy began before the cutoff point the annual increase is actually limited to 2%. So it still end up being just 4%.

          2. Aaaa

            Thanks again for the reply Killian. If it can be done at any time and not just when the tenant leaves, I wonder what’s stopping rent increases willy nilly.

            With regards to your friends case, I’m assuming if your friend had been there since before the cut off point that they’ve been there a few years? So my thinking would be that the 4% increase that they had to pay would still leave them behind the market rent for that property?

            What I’m curious about is that if the above paragraph was the case, the market value of the property after the original owner passed away would be affected because the new owner couldn’t charge market rent. Meaning the family or whoever was named in the will would have been financially impacted by the new legislation.

      2. Aaaa

        You don’t get this view? You don’t get the view that possibly screwing decent landlords more than screwing cowboys will only encourage the cowboys and piss off the few decent ones out there?? If you can’t at least understand the concept then there’s probably no point engaging any further with you.

        1. anne

          Ok Sybil.

          If they were fair & decent they probably don’t feel like they’re bring screwed over in not being allowed gouge tenants like the greedy ones.

          Comprehensive restrictions would benefit all tenants, not just the ones lucky enough to have decent & fair landlords.

          1. Aaaa

            “If they were fair & decent they probably don’t feel like they’re bring screwed over in not being allowed gouge tenants like the greedy ones”

            Nice assumption but I think it’s incorrect. They’re not charities after all.

            “Comprehensive restrictions would benefit all tenants, not just the ones lucky enough to have decent & fair landlords”

            Don’t think comprehensive restrictions would help with supply, which I think is a major cause of the issue.

          2. anne

            They’re not charities indeed, and swathes of the Irish population should not be forced to live in penury, at the whim of landlords exploiting the need of people to put a roof over their heads.

            What you’re saying in effect is, they acted fairly & decently but now they are being restricted to act like the greedy ones, which isn’t fair.

            And of course rent restrictions won’t increase supply, neither will central bank rules on borrowing, but it will deal with the issue of massive rents.

            From an economic standpoint, it’s unsustainable.

          3. Aaaa

            I agree with the fact that a lot of accommodation is substandard. My view on improving this would be if there was more choice in the market i.e. greater supply, then rents shouldn’t skyrocket and those in substandard accommodation would have alternatives.

            “What you’re saying in effect is, they acted fairly & decently but now they are being restricted to act like the greedy ones, which isn’t fair”

            My main point on this is that this legislation encourages landlords to take every legal opportunity to increase rents, or risk having botched legislation (as shown by the need for amendments) being written which could penalise them for not introducing these increases. I could see an offshoot of this being that the decent landlords leave the market in a huff, the cowboys take over and everything gets worse. A worst case scenario possibly, but a conceivable outcome all the same.

            “And of course rent restrictions won’t increase supply, neither will central bank rules on borrowing, but it will deal with the issue of massive rents”

            It will deal with the issue of the massive rents officially recorded with Revenue, but could also result in a huge surge in the black market and underhand payments, subletting etc. My opinion is that it is naive to think otherwise. If we had a utopia of affordable rents mixed with the dystopia of a lack of places to rent, the competition to become tenants would be fierce.

            I think we would both like more choice in the market, affordable rents and landlords not taking the piss with upkeep and charging, so I’d be interested to hear your view on this.

          4. anne

            I’ve already said rent caps won’t increase supply, but until the botty boo boos in charge start building houses for people, something needs to be done.

            And you might as well say tax causes a black market.. let’s just turn into Italy so.

            Here is David McWilliams’ view on it –

            http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2015/11/02/why-we-need-rent-controls

            There seems to be a lot of ideology involved in this debate. The mainstream economics profession and the property/landlord lobby appear to argue that we shouldn’t introduce rent controls because it interferes with the “free market” or the status quo. But this is silly because the market isn’t free; it is rigged at every stage and the “status quo” doesn’t deliver stability but delivers massive instability.

            If we really want a free market in housing, we should scrap all tax breaks to property, stop allowing debt interest costs to be deducted from tax liabilities, stop any tax incentive into any form of building, introduce “use it or lose it” schemes in planning, introduce “non-recourse” mortgages and address a whole variety of other legacy interventions in this most tampered with market.

            Until these are done, signaling out rent control as being uniquely distortive smacks of ideology, group think and a weakness for thinking economics is a pure science when in fact is it far from that. Groupthink and the tyranny of conventional wisdom 

          5. Aaaa

            “…until the botty boo boos in charge start building houses for people, something needs to be done”

            Who exactly are the botty boo boos in charge who you want to start building houses for people?
            1. Government/Councils?
            2. Charities?
            3. Developers?
            4. Anyone else I’ve not thought of!

            “And you might as well say tax causes a black market.. let’s just turn into Italy so”

            Hmm I’m trying to be realistic and pragmatic, but sure, go ahead with a huge exaggeration to refute the point I made. If all rents were affordable and there were too few properties to meet demand, how would the few available places get divvied out? A lottery? Or potentially backhanders to the landlord?

            Oh and from the same McWilliams article:
            “…the referee is never impartial. We have policy, not just housing policy but political bias and ideology, with one shower preferring to side with landlords and the other shower with tenants – as if the interests of one are at odds with the interests of the other when in fact, they are symbiotic”

            I’m also arguing the relationship is symbiotic. Screw decent landlords and tenants eventually pay – the point I’m ham-fistedly trying to make! He mentions Germany as an example to follow. I’d agree with that, but unless an increase in supply is introduced along with rent controls, I don’t think it will be too effective.

          6. anne

            There’s only one set of bottys in charge.

            Builders build houses.. social housing is funded by government.

            No landlords are being screwed in this country. Get over the idea that because some may have been fair & decent it’s unfair that they’re now restricted -somewhat – to gouge. It’s ill founded.

            If rent caps were enforced, landlords would chose new tenants as they normally would.. references, gainfully employed etc.

            Some people will always take back handers.. we don’t build policies around that or say to ourselves for instance, politicians are inherently corrupt and shur if they say they won it at the horses what can ya do.

          7. Aaaa

            “No landlords are being screwed in this country. Get over the idea that because some may have been fair & decent it’s unfair that they’re now restricted -somewhat – to gouge. It’s ill founded”

            Ill founded in your opinion. From the same McWilliams article you quoted:
            “…leading to a generation of one-off landlords who were promised riches but are left with negative equity, many still technically bankrupt”

            I think there’s a slight contradiction there? Maybe I’m interpreting it wrong though.

            “Some people will always take back handers.. we don’t build policies around that or say to ourselves for instance, politicians are inherently corrupt and shur if they say they won it at the horses what can ya do.”
            We shouldn’t build policy around it but equally we shouldn’t shove our heads in the sand and introduce policy that will actively encourage it I would have thought.

            On another note that I think we agree on, the supply of houses needs to be increased I think. The one set of arse holes ‘in charge’ (builders I’m assuming) are not in charge of planning, in my view a far more crucial element blocking a functional rental market, much more so than rent controls.

          8. anne

            By the botty boo boos in charge, I meant the government. Who else is in charge? Who else are bigger bummikins?

            It shouldn’t be renters’ problem if a landlord is in negative equity. The rest of us have to contribute to our own pension.

            Agree re supply, planning.

          9. Aaaa

            “Agree re supply, planning”…At last, something we agree on haha. One last point with regards to the article you linked, and I suppose your viewpoint on the topic too. It says in the article that “The reality is that the cost of this crisis is being borne not by banks, landlords or developers but by renters and first time buyers.” I agree with this and by all means I don’t think this is right. But a question I’d have is that of course the renter/first time buyer is going to be the one to shoulder the cost because they’re the one actively living in the house. Rent control in itself isn’t a bad idea in that it helps lessen the burden on the tenant and eats into the money made by the landlord, it’s just that I think the legislation introduced (including an amendment I wasn’t aware of) is really quite flawed, and that if as much resources and people power went into challenging the planning system, then I think we’d be in a better place.

            Anyway just my 2 cents. Sorry for always quoting, I’m not the most articulate at debating or arguing or political conversation or whatever you might call this

          10. anne

            Fixing the planning laws & fixing the spiralling costs of rent are not mutually exclusive.

            The rent freezes have been ineffective & don’t go far enough.

            No one is jumping up and down about rules for buyers in terms of what they can borrow.. the central bank rules on borrowing were designed to supposedly restrict the price of housing.

            This in turn forced more people to rent. It’s not fair to deal with one aspect of housing in society and leave renters to the wolves.

            Too many vested interests in this country.

  4. CSG

    Another thing worth noting for Tenants is that in an RPZ the rent for a new tenancy must be in line with the previous tenants rent. The new rent for the new tenancy should only be increased cumulatively in line with when the previous tenants rent was last set.

  5. some old queen

    Just reading the arguments on this thread that some landlords STILL aren’t making a profit which is hilarious. Nobody held a gun to their head forcing them to take out unsustainable debt and if they can’t make it work now then there is really no hope for them. The people who are struggling are the renting class, not the landlords, so empathy for the few who are still not breaking even is pretty scarce.

    1. anne

      I don’t break even contributing to my pension. They’re the only crowd of parasites in society who want someone else to pay for their pension, & get a valuable asset for nothing.

      1. some old queen

        I know someone who is involved in an unofficial community role. What she does is voluntary and word of mouth. I popped in and there was two kids sitting there. Just made homeless. Didn’t know where their mother was. No more than 12. She called the Guards and they were pretty familiar with her by the sounds of it.

        Now you can complain about government tax and bad tenants and whatever else you’re having but that is what landlords signed up for. I personally would love to meet the scum who kicked those children out on the street. I don’t know the background but nothing excuses such behaviour. Absolutely nothing.

      2. Aaaa

        Hate it or love it, that ‘crowd of parapsites’ are also the ones who supply accommodation to the bulk of renters. I don’t fully comprehend the idea of getting a valuable asset for nothing? Assuming you’re referring to someone taking a mortgage, then renting a house to pay for said mortgage…an interesting way to look at it.

    2. Aaaa

      If you happen to be referring to me, I don’t think I said some landlords weren’t earning profit. When you say nobody held a gun to their head forcing them to take out unsustainable debt, you could almost equally say nobody is holding a gun to tenants for them to pay high rent for substandard accommodation. Obviously if there was sufficient rental properties available then this would be a lot easier.

      Alas, it’s much easier to bang on about scumbag landlords (like your example in your follow up comment) and paint them all with the one brush than to talk about supply of houses and accommodation. If the general public had the same level of vitriol towards incompetent planners then maybe politicians would listen and act on that end of the equation too. Just a thought…was going to leave this thread alone but wanted to stir the pot slightly more lol

      1. barelylegal

        don’t worry aaa – a negative reaction is the only sort of one many of them above wanted from you

        you sound far too rational and measured to be commenting here

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