Rents are going to go up in the next five years, as so-called 'accidental' landlords plan to exit the market.
That's according to Irish Times consumer affairs correspondent, Conor Pope.
He was commenting on new figures from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), which show one-fifth of renters in Dublin are spending more than half their income on rent.
The latest Rental Sector Survey notes that half the country's tenants are paying more than 30% of their take-home pay on housing.
The situation is tougher for tenants in the capital - with one-in-five people spending more than half their income on rent and 64% of people spending more than 30%.
The average Dublin tenant is paying 41% of their income on rent – compared to the national average of 36%.
Conor told The Hard Shoulder the situation could be about to get even worse.
"There will be moves by the small landlords, and by small landlords I mean the almost accidental landlords - who might have bought property during the boom years, and then moved into another house and started renting out the property they bought.
"But there's a significant number of the small landlords [who] plan to exit the market over the next five years.
"That means that supply will contract, and that means that average rents are likely to increase even further.
"So the picture is bleak across the board, really."
'The Irish system isn't built up to that'
On the RTB figures, Conor says: "They're very depressing figures, I have to say - what they show is half of the people who are renting homes in Ireland spend more than 30% of their net income on rent.
"And more than one in 10 people are spending more than 50% of their net income on rent.
"They're staggeringly high sums, because if you're spending 50% of your net income on rent, that means you only have 50% left to cover all your utilities, food, commuting costs, travelling costs.
"And it's incredibly difficult for people."
Conor says the knock-on effect is seeing people locked out of the mortgage market.
"The high percentage of their income that people are spending on rent means that 20% of people can't get a mortgage.
"They would like a mortgage but they can't get a mortgage, and it's putting people in a very, very difficult position.
"An awful lot of the people who discussed this with the Residential Tenancies Board said they anticipated they would be renting for the next 10 years or even longer than that.
"And the Irish system just really isn't built up to that".
But Conor says one positive is the relationship between landlords and tenants.
"A finding in the report suggested the narrative of mean landlords and put-upon tenants always at war with each other doesn't really stack up.
"In fact most tenants say they get on quite well with their landlords, and most landlords say they get on quite well with their tenants".