Over €104m in overdue rent is owed by council tenants
Over 10% of social housing arrears in the state is owed by South Dublin County Council

Over €104m in overdue rent is owed by council tenants

OVER ten per cent of social housing arrears in the State is owed in South Dublin County.

According to figures compiled by The Irish Times last month, across all of the 31 local authorities in the State, €104,770,709 is overdue in rent from council tenants.

South Dublin County Council is owed €11,081,146 in arrears.

Following the Irish Times article, Gript.ie editor John McGuirk ran a headline ‘In Ireland, only fools pay rent to the council.’

In the article, McGuirk said the vast majority of tenants pay rent because they are “responsible citizens” but those that don’t “make fools of everybody else.”

Although South Dublin County Council has cut its arrears by over €600,000 this year, Cllr Ronan McMahon (Ind) feels it could take 20 years to close the gap at the current rate of collections.

“Over half the tenants in the county are in some form of arrears,” said Cllr McMahon.

“I saw that headline in the media during the summer ‘only fools pay rent’, it is a dangerous message to put out there.

“€11 million is a huge amount of money though. How many houses would that provide,” asked Cllr McMahon.

Of the 9,816 tenants in the county, some 621 (six per cent of tenants), between them, owe over €5m in rent arrears, by a period greater than two years.

Another 683 tenants owe close to €3m for a period of between one to two years.

The average rent charged under the council’s Differential Rent Scheme in March 2022 was €55.24 per week.

At the council meeting last week, Cllr Liam Sinclair (An Rabharta Glas – Green Left) asked for a breakdown of arrears in the local electoral areas (LEA).

In response, SDCC said Tallaght South was the area with the highest arrears (€4.5m), followed by Palmerstown-Fonthill (€2.1m).

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