How do we fix the rental market?

The State managed to build a vast amount of Social Housing in the 1930’s and 1950’s and into the 1970’s and mid 1980’s when the Country was an economic backwater ?

Then for whatever ideological reason, a mis-conceived shift in policy occurred and housing provision was handed over to the private sector.

The current generation of small landlords are a combination of savvy investors and “accidental landlords” (through celtic tiger purchases, inheritance, job relocations etc).

We can now clearly see a massive exodus of these small landlords from the market, some are simply cashing in as the investment has run its course but many see a diminishing return with additional layers of bureaucracy and obligations being added on as each year passes.

A number of relatively simple measures could be used to stem the landlord exodus from the market:-

  1. Equalise tax treatment of rental income (on a par with corporate landlords)
  2. A CGT exemption on disposal (similar to the exemption provided for in the 2012 Finance Act), if the owner undertakes to retain the investment for a period say of five to ten years.
  3. A complete overhaul of the RTB to make it fit for purpose.
  4. A review of the HAP payment rules in relation to non-payment of rent by a HAP tenant.
  5. The creation of a Landlord/Tenant “charter” that would reward “good” tenant behaviour and incentivise “good” landlord behaviour.

These suggestions might seem somewhat simplistic, but something needs to be done to stem the avalanche that will inevitably come in April 2023.