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Half of Ireland's tenants spending more than 30% on rent

Half of Ireland’s tenants spend more than 30% of their take-home pay on rent, according to new research from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

The report also found that 12% of renters are also spending more than half their income on keeping a roof over their head.

The RTB has also warned that potential moves by small landlords to exit the rental market over the next five years will impact on supply and see average rents accelerate even more quickly. The study found that more than a quarter of small landlords who have one or two properties plan to sell within the next five years.

Affordability is a central issue in the report, with rent levels often seen as out of tenants’ control and not linked to income.

Tenants are paying on average 36% of their net income on rent, with half spending more than 30% of their take-home pay on rent, climbing to 64% in the greater Dublin area.

When speaking to researchers, tenants outlined multiple reasons for renting including easy access to work and school and because they were unsure where they wanted to live in the long term.

However, one in five said they were renting because they could not get a mortgage, with a further 15% saying they were renting while saving a deposit for their own home. A significant percentage of those polled believe Central Bank rules on mortgage lending make it more difficult for them to buy their own homes.

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