Almost a third of tenants renting because they cannot get a mortgage, research finds

RTB’s survey finds most are happy with current property, though spending 30 per cent of monthly income on rent

Almost a third of people renting are doing so because they cannot get a mortgage, with more than two-fifths of all tenants expecting to still be in the private rental sector in five years, new research shows.

On Wednesday, the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) will publish the rental sector survey reports 2023, which seek to provide data around the actions and intentions of landlords, tenants and letting agents.

It found that 83 per cent of tenants surveyed indicated they were positive or very positive about renting their current property, 14 per cent were neutral and 3 per cent were negative or very negative.

The median amount spent by tenants on rent, not including bills or additional fees, was 30 per cent of monthly net income after tax, which is in line with similar research published in 2021.


However, the researchers said there is an upward trend in rent amounts being paid by tenants surveyed, both in and outside Dublin. At a national level, the median rent on the property was higher in 2022/23, standing at €1,300 vs €1,000 in 2019/20.

In terms of tenants’ future plans, almost half of renters intend to buy their own property within the next 10 years.

In 2019/20, some 43 per cent of tenants who saw themselves purchasing a property within the next 10 years expected that becoming a homeowner would reduce their monthly housing costs. The figure for 2022/23 is somewhat higher at 51 per cent, which the researchers said is probably driven by higher rents.

The small landlord experience also remained positive in 2022. The relationship with tenants in 90 per cent of tenancies is rated as very positive or positive. Fewer than one in 10 (7 per cent) tenancies achieve a neutral rating and only a small minority (3 per cent) are perceived as negative or very negative.

The survey, which is the second phase of a research project, began in April 2022 and was completed in July 2023. It was conducted by Amárach research on behalf of the RTB.

It included a nationally representative face-to-face survey with 1,200 tenants across 150 sampling points, more than 800 telephone surveys with landlords, 143 web-based surveys with letting agents, and in-depth interviews with medium landlords, large landlords and letting agents, as well as focus groups with tenants and landlords to supplement the research.

Niall Byrne, director of the RTB, said the survey provides information “which enhances the understanding of the profile as well as the concerns and intentions of landlords, tenants and letting agents in Ireland”.

“This type of comparative research is important in identifying and monitoring trends across the rental sector. This research, together with insights gathered from the analysis of RTB register of tenancies demonstrates how the RTB is becoming an authoritative source of the types of reliable information required to inform policy,” he added.

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Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is a reporter for The Irish Times