The Residential Tenancies Board has published a survey which shows that high levels of rent are impacting on the quality of life for many tenants.

Half of tenants surveyed by the Residential Tenancies Board say they are spending more than 30% of their net income on rent, with 20% of tenants in Dublin spending more than 50% of their total income.

The RTB survey was conducted between September 2019 and March 2020.

Carried out by Amarach Research, it surveyed 1,038 tenants and 850 landlords.

The survey focused on renters and landlords and is one of the biggest surveys on the rental sector in Ireland.

It found that the profile of landlords is changing with 26% of small landlords who have one to two tenancies indicating that they plan to sell a property within the next five years, while landlords with 100 tenancies or more plan to continue to invest and expand their portfolios.

A significant number of landlords said they are also struggling, just like renters, and therefore they need to keep rent prices as high as they are.

Interim director of the Residential Tenancies Board Padraig McGoldrick told Morning Ireland that affordability of rent "is front and centre" of issues in the sector.

The survey reflects the level of this burden on individual tenants, with the average renter in Ireland paying 36% of their disposable income on rent, rising to 41% in Dublin.

Mr McGoldrick said that this is "clearly unsustainable and impacting on renters quality of life".

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He said that the survey also found that it is "not a rosy garden for landlords" and while some thrive, a large cohort of smaller landlords are struggling.

He noted a reduction of 25,000 properties available to rent over the last five years, which had impacted on supply and on rent prices.

Mr McGoldrick said that many small landlords are not making significant returns and 26% of them have expressed an intention to leave the sector over the next five years, which will add more pressure to the market.

However, large landlords are finding it easier and making the returns expected and are intend to expand rather than restrict their portfolios, he added.

He noted a reduction of 25,000 properties available to rent over the last five years, which had impacted supply and rent prices.

Mr McGoldrick said that many small landlords are not making significant returns and 26% of them have expressed an intention to leave the sector over the next five years, which will add more pressure to the market.

However, large landlords are finding it easier and making the returns expected and are intend to expand rather than restrict their portfolios, he added.

The RTB's latest Rent Index for the three months from January to March shows that the annual national standardised average rent stood at €1,320. This marked an increase of €33 in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2020.

The standardised average rent for houses stood at €1,304 a month, an increase of 2.6% on the previous quarter and a rise of 7% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the standardised average rent for apartments stood at €1,351 a month, which is an increase of 2.2% on Q4 2020 and 2.2% year-on-year.

The county with the highest standardised average rent in the first quarter of 2021 was Dublin at €1,820 a month. The county with the lowest monthly rents was Leitrim at €596 a month.

Annual growth was recorded across 25 out of 26 counties in the first quarter of this year, with 17 counties recording annual growth of more than 5% in the three month period. Year-on-year price inflation stood at 7% outside Dublin.