Dublin council tenants in private housing face €2 a week rent rise
Criticism that move to recoup management fee costs would ‘create a two-tier rent system’
Independent councillor for Rathgar-Rathmines Ruairí McGinley said the rent increase was a “good idea”. Photograph: iStockPhoto
Dublin City Council tenants living in private developments face a €2 per week rent increase next year as the council seeks to recoup management fee costs.
It could mean council tenants in private developments paying more rent than those in council-owned dwellings, a move that has been described as a “the creation of a two-tier rent system”.
Council tenants pay a “differential rent” calculated at 15 per cent of their net income. Rent is higher if there is more than one income in the home, and less if there are dependents.
Maximum rents are between €257 for a one-bed, and €423 per week for a three-bedroom or larger dwelling.
The council pays between €400 and €2,200 a year in services charges in respect of 1,286 households in private developments.
These are council tenants in dwellings provided by developers under Part V of the planning process. Part V requires developers to sell at least 10 per cent of units to the council, at a reduced price, for social housing.
Up to now, the council has not charged these tenants a contribution towards management fees, which it expects will total €1.9 million in 2018.
In a briefing document, prepared in advance of the council adopting a budget for 2018 next month, housing officials say a “typical charge” is about €1,200 to €1,500 per annum, with the highest number of these affecting council-tenants in the south-central area of the city, where there are 364 such tenancies.
With an average annual charge of €1,452 per year, or €27.92 per tenancy per week, the council says it must look at ways to recoup some of this.
Officials say the introduction of a “weekly charge on properties that have a service charge”, would generate €133,744 per year if set at €2.
A spokeswoman told The Irish Times: “As part of the upcoming Dublin City Council 2018 budget process management will be putting forward a suggestion that tenants who are allocated a Part V Housing unit would be asked to pay an additional €2 per week as a contribution towards annual management charges that will apply to these units. It will be a matter for city councillors to make a decision on this issue.”
Solidarity councillor for Beaumont-Donaghmede, Michael O’Brien, last month objected to the proposed rent increase at the council’s budget consultative group. He described as “inequitable” the situation where council tenants in Part V tenancies could pay higher rents “through no fault of their own”.
“This is the creation of a two-tier rent system, and underlines the need for the councils to build, own and manage our own housing stock. Apart from the burden this would impose on our tenants, some of who are on very low incomes, these fees are a considerable drain on council resources.”
Independent councillor for Rathgar-Rathmines, Ruairí McGinley, however described it as a “good idea” saying he did not believe a €2 per week increase would impose “any hardship”.
“It will bring in €133,000 to the council for a relatively minor charge.” He said tenants of council dwellings paid about €6 a week for waste management and boiler fees.