Thousands of tenants in Ireland are too “fearful” to claim their €500 rent credit.
The Government introduced the annual credit for renters in Budget 2023 – but a new survey from Taxback.com show that very few renters have gotten around to claiming it.
There are roughly 400,000 people eligible to claim it for the year 2022 - but only 190,000 have got around to doing it.
“They’re trying to claim what they’re due or they want to claim what they’re due back but they’re hitting a wall,” Taxback spokesperson Marian Ryan told Newstalk Breakfast.
“We wanted to delve into it a little bit more; the Revenue have confirmed there’s about 400,000 people eligible to get the credit and to date only about 190,000 people have claimed it there.”
When Taxback asked people why, some had simply not got around to claim it - but others highlighted a deeper problem with Ireland’s rental market.
“What came up, more and more often, was people either pay their rent in cash and they get no receipt,” she said.
“They’re uncomfortable about asking their landlord anything about their RTB registration number or that their landlord has flat out said, ‘I’m not registered with the RTB and I’m not registering for it.’”
Landlords who are not registered with the RTB risk a €4,000 fine or a six-month prison sentence - but it is a risk many have decided to take.
“There’s more and more people [who] are just afraid to open a conversation with the landlord,” Ms Joyce said.
“They don’t want to start a conversation going, ‘Can I get the RTB registration number so I can get back my €500?’ And the landlord says, ‘Yeah, no problem, here’s your registration number and by the way, now we’re talking, we’re going to increase your rent by €500s a month.’
“So, it completely negates the benefit for most people of it there and they’re just fearful of having any conversation.”
Ms Joyce advises not to assume your landlord is not registered with the RTB and it is possible to find out yourself.
“It might be a little bit more work for you but if you actually go to the RTB website with your Eircode, you can actually check and see if the property is registered with them there and if it is registered with them, you can pop them an email.”
In its most recent report, Daft.ie found the average rent in Ireland was €1,733 per month - a 13.7% rise in the space of a year.
Main image: A set of house keys. Image: Joe Giddens/PA Wire