Rent crisis

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Inishowen is facing a rental crisis, with a shortage of properties available and rents continuing to increase.

The latest figures from the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) show that the average rent for homes in the last quarter of 2015 was 465.78 euro in Buncrana and 383.11 in Carndonagh.

While Buncrana is just above the county average of 463 euro and Carndonagh is below it, the rates have sigificantly increased since the same period last year.

In the last quarter of 2014, the average rent in Buncrana was 417.08 and 372.84 in Carndonagh.

The average rent for Buncrana for 2015 in total was 442.77 and Carndonagh was 378.66. This compares to 422.36 euro in 2014 for Buncrana and 369.40 euro in Carndonagh in 2014.

Councillor Rena Donaghey who is on the Donegal County Council Housing SPC, told the ‘Journal’ that she has been inundated with queries asking where houses are available for rent, but there “aren’t any.”

She said this in turn is increasing the rental rates across the peninsula and particularly in Buncrana.

Colr Donaghey said that legislation brought in by the last Government which prevented Council’s from building or buying properties had led to less Council homes becoming available. This in turn then led to more people having to rent, which is now “pushing the rent up.”

She said any incoming Government needs to make a housing programme for towns and villages a top priority.

“There’s is a very real shortage,” said Councillor Donaghey.

“Several people have come to me asking if I know of any available properties. I haveto tell them there’s absolutely nothing out there. I’ve been speaking to an Inishowen rental company, who are very busy and they told me anything which does become available is snapped up in a few days.”

Colr Donaghey said any new social housing programmes in place will not address the current need and added that the rent allowance, which has been “cut back” also needs to be increased.

The PRTB figures how rent data for a number of specific properties. The data for Buncrana states that in 2015, a four-bedroom plus house in Buncrana would cost 501.19 per month. In 2014, that same property would have cost 490.35 euro. A two-bed property averages at 389.60 in Buncrana, a three-bed at 444.13 euro, a one to two bed at 370.04 euro and a one to three bed at 412.75. In Carndonagh, a one to three bed is 364.20 euro and a three bed property was 376.30.The PRTB say their report is the most accurate and authoritative on the private accommodation sector. This is because it is based on actual rents being paid, according to the PRTB’s records, as distinct from the asking or advertised rent. See www.prtb.ie