The Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA ) has expressed concern regarding legislative proposals from Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.
IPOA chairman Stephen Faughnan, in a note to association members, accused the minister of “pandering to irresponsible forces who seem to have some difficulty with the very existence of private landlords”.
Mr Faughnan said that for many years responsible landlords have combined with responsible tenants to create effective and harmonious relations, which meant landlords were happy to rent their property and tenants were happy to rent from them.
“The beginning of the era of disharmony started when the Government prohibited bedsits and through grossly unfair taxation practices made it very difficult to be a responsible landlord,” he said.
“Prior to that, various levels of affordable accommodation were available in the housing market, and we did not have a crisis like that which now exists. The creation of so-called Rent Pressure Zones greatly exacerbated the problem rather than helping to solve it, and these are in reality rent control measures which were declared unconstitutional many years ago.
“The reality is that successive Governments have taken their eyes off the housing ball, have not provided adequate resources to supply housing through local authorities and other agencies, and have made it very difficult for people on lower incomes who prefer to rent. Nothing in the minister’s suggestions seeks to change this.”
Mr Faughnan is calling on the Government to introduce a taxation policy for landlords in line with other business taxation.
“The IPOA consistently said that taxation policy must be fair and in line with other business taxation in order for landlords to do what they do best, namely to provide quality and affordable accommodation for a wide variety of tenants,” he commented.
“In tandem with this, tenants who are vulnerable or who have low incomes need to be assured of relevant support, which is not helped by the quite arbitrary and unrealistic thresholds applied by the Minister for Social Protection via local authorities.”
Calling for private landlords to be considered as partners in the provision of accommodation, Mr Faughnan said that the current crisis will only be alleviated when there is realistic and fair movement by the Government towards all involved in the provision of housing.