Tenants feeling less secure in accommodation, Threshold survey shows

Half of renters pay more than 30% of their income on rent, with 45% of respondents saying their rent had increased in the past year

Just 18 per cent of tenants feel secure in their accommodation, a 20 per cent drop from last year, according to a new Threshold survey launched on Wednesday.

The survey says that nearly half of respondents, or 48 per cent, felt insecure in their accommodation, and that only 17 per cent are renting by choice.

Feeling insecure in accommodation is increasing among renters, according to the survey, with 44 per cent of participants feeling insecure in 2022′s survey.

Threshold chief executive John-Mark McCafferty said that the deterioration in feelings of security among renters in the last few years is “unsurprising” because of the continuing “exodus of small landlords from the private rental sector”.


Threshold’s annual We Are Generation Rent Survey, which aims to give a voice to the experience of Threshold users, had 119 respondents, 59 per cent of whom said they are renting because they cannot afford their own home.

A total of 12 per cent are renting because of an inability to access social housing, while 27 per cent were found to have affordable rent under a 30 per cent income to rent affordability measure.

Half of renters pay more than 30 per cent of their income on rent, and almost a fifth of the people surveyed were found to spend more than half of their income on rent, a “stark narrative”, according to Mr McCafferty.

“This is across all family types, income ranges and ages, however those reliant on social welfare, pension payments and those in part-time employment felt this challenge of affordability more acutely. This crisis in the rental sector is leaving no area of society untouched,” he said.

Sixty per cent of respondents wish to own their own home in the next five years, however 39 per cent expect this to become reality. Thirty-one per cent of renters who completed the survey expect to still be renting in five years.

Half of respondents have lived in the private rental sector for more than 10 years.

“We know that we must develop more housing, of all kinds, and significantly scale up the delivery of affordable purchase homes and affordable cost-rental homes. This is beginning to happen, and Government will do all it can to speed up this delivery,” Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said.

“Cost-rental, in particular, will provide a level of security at affordable prices not seen in the market up until recently. It provides the solution to many of the challenges highlighted in this report,” he said.

Some 45 per cent of those surveyed said that their rent had increased in the past year, and among those living in rent pressure zones (RPZs), almost one in four reported that they had received a rent increase above the 2 per cent cap.

“It is extremely disappointing to hear of tenants facing unlawful rent increases in RPZs, with almost one in four respondents in RPZs reporting to have received a rent increase above the permitted 2 per cent cap,” Threshold’s chief executive added.

“Many tenants are already struggling financially to afford their basic needs while paying their rent, so to hear of this level of rent increases in RPZs that are not permitted is deeply unsettling,” he said, while urging anyone who received a rent increase to contact Threshold to seek information on what is permitted.

Ellen O’Donoghue

Ellen O’Donoghue

Ellen O'Donoghue is an Irish Times journalist