Government action results in housing shortage, says IPOA

Taxation, unnecessary regulations, rent control and complexity of legislation are the real reasons for the current decline in the supply of rental accommodation, according to Stephen Faughnan of the Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA ).

Mr Faughnan and the IPOA were responding to the latest Daft.ie Report, which shows a reduction in the amount of accommodation available for rent in Ireland.

Mr Faughnan said traditionally tenancies were on short term lets, and that was what the market needed. However, he added that the Government relying on the private rental sector to fill the void in the absence of Local Authority and social housing development has led to "one size fits all legislation" being introduced to the sector, to the detriment of the private landlord.

"Short-term letting is labour intensive but can be financially rewarding, however, most IPOA members prefer long term letting," Mr Faughnan said. "Irish Property Owners Association members who habitually let to students have vacant properties during the summer. The normal practice is for the accommodation to be pre-booked by students for the next academic year.

"It was not unusual for these properties to be let over the summer at a reduced rate but, as an unintended consequence of the rent pressure zones, this cannot be done, or the rent for the next student tenancy would be lower. There is also a fear that if summer tenants do not leave at the agreed time the pre-booked students would be homeless. Tenants are protected by the Residential Tenancies Acts and it can take considerable lengths of time to get back the property."

Mr Faughnan said property owners are at their wits end trying to deal with "complex rent control measures" introduced in 2016, which curtail their income without taking into account their ability to pay the outgoings.

"Politician are still not listening or facing reality, but insist on implementing legislation that is resulting in a reduction in the supply of rental accommodation,” he concluded.

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