People getting ready to march for the rent controls protest

Rent controls protest Rathmines – Photo credit Robbie Bacon

The People Before Profit Alliance (PBPA) recently organised a protest in Dublin city centre. The aim of the protest was to highlight the skyrocketing property prices in Dublin and raise awareness to the rent controls motion which will be discussed in the Daíl later this year.

Peter Dooley, secretary of the PBPA’s branch in Harolds Cross, had this to say about the motion, “Rents have jumped up by 50% since 2012, even today they’re saying that rents could go up by 25% over the next two years, so you need proper control and affordability…any urban areas would have maximum rents, how they’d work that maximum rent would be to redact levels back to 2011, look at the CPI and then add 5% to it…and we’d get the residential tenancies board to oversee that.”

Peter Dooley standing and smiling

Peter Dooley, Secretary of the Harolds Cross/Rathmines PBP branch – Photo credit Robbie Bacon

The average rental price of a property in Dublin rose by €113 between July 2015 – July 2016 and prices throughout Ireland are threatening to go up by 25% over the next two years. So, is it time regulations were introduced?

If rent continues to rise at a disproportionate rate to wages and the CPI, there is a good chance we will see more college graduates emigrating, not because they can’t find work in their chosen field but rather because they can’t afford to live in the part of the country where the main employers in their industry are located.

Peter spoke about the possible consequences if the motion isn’t successful, “the consequences are pretty stark, there’s just going to be blatantly higher rents, people are going to be forced into paying higher rents, living at home or else emigrating. The people don’t have a freedom of choice in Ireland, they talk about freedom of choice, there’s no choice, it’s either pay sky-high rents and get abused by your landlord or vulture fund that owns all these properties or emigrate.”

Petition booth for rent controls in rathmines

Rent controls protest Rathmines – Photo credit Robbie Bacon

Rent controls have been introduced in many European cities, including Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, bringing with them cheaper and more stable rents for the public. For instance, between 2000 – 2012 rents in Germany increased by less than 5%, while they doubled in France during the same period.

The PBPA organised a protest earlier this month, which ran from Rathmines to the Central Bank, to raise awareness and gather support for the motion. Check out a video from the protest below.

The motion is likely to be discussed in December and the PBPA hope that the public will get involved and support it. If you want to get involved, have a look at the PBPA’s Facebook page, check out the events and attend one.

What do you think? Is it time rent controls were introduced in Ireland? Let us know in the comments section below.