Thursday 14th June 2018

Margaret McCormick and Tom O’Brien made a solid representation on behalf of all IPOA Members and Irish Property Owners at the recent meeting of the Joint Committee, Housing, Planning and Local Government.  The purpose of the meeting being to scrutinise the general scheme of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment Bill) 2018.

Overall the view of the IPOA is that the Bill is very one sided with little or nothing in it for the Landlord. “We are disappointment but not surprised” at its content.

The IPOA reminded the Committee that it is not the responsibility of our members – the Private Residential Landlord, to ensure that the people of the state are housed. This is the responsibility of the State and the Private Residential Landlord is a vital part of the solution to the housing crisis.

The IPOA called for more in favour of the Landlord.

  • Fairer Tax Treatment: The misconception is toxic that Landlords are gleaning on high returns on their investments. No consideration is given to the financing costs which are at minimum 5%, taxation costs (currently 53% of your profit); services charges; repair and maintenance costs; RTB fees and Local Property Tax. It would be more accurate to say that it is more likely a negative return.Without fairer tax treatment it is an impossible task to incentivise Landlords to remain in the sector or encourage new entrants.
  • Penalties must be fair and proportionate: If sanctions apply to the Landlord what sanctions are in place for Tenants proven to act outside legislation? If it is a criminal offence to overcharge rent – why is it not a criminal offence not to pay rent? Penalties must be proportionate to the offence.
  • Rent Arrears: Landlords cannot continue to be disadvantaged in the case of disputes arising in relation to rent arrears. Tenants must be required to continue to pay or have rent held in the case of disputes.
  • Substantial Change Exemption: Landlords must be given clarity with regards to the substantial change exemption. Landlords are investing significantly to enhance their rental property and in turn the enjoy-ability of its use for the Tenant. Again, the Landlord is being disadvantage when significant works are not considered a substantial change.
  • Substantially Low Rents: This Bill must recognise Landlords who are in RPZs and have rents significantly below market rent, there must be provision in these cases to bring rent to market rent.
  • Terminations: Provisions need to be in place to ensure that a Landlords genuine attempt to prevent a Part 4 tenancy arising are allowed and technically defectives errors or notices do not prevent this.
  • Education and Training: The legislation is so complex that even professionals or legal counsel find it difficult to navigate. The RTB must play its part in supporting associations such as the IPOA in educating and training members

Nothing in this Bill encourages the supply of accommodation, if proposed changes are not implemented there will be a further drought of accommodation and a mass exodus of Residential Landlords from the sector.

As members of the IPOA, you are responsible law-abiding Landlords who provide good quality accommodation – join us in highlighting our views and call for change.

Click here to watch the full meeting (commences at 1 hour 47 minutes)

Click here to access the full report of the Joint Committee

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