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LANDLORDS CONDEMN GOVERNMENT BILL ON TENANCIES

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Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has come under fire from landlords for what he has called “significant provisions in relation to security of tenure” for private tenants.

Stephen Faughnan, Chairman of the Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA), has described aspects of the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Bill 2016 as “grossly unfair and possibly unconstitutional”.  The Bill was introduced in the Dáil Thursday, having gone through the Seanad earlier in the week.

Speaking to members via email, Mr. Faughnan described two particular sections which “infringe the property rights of landlords” and do nothing to help tenants.

“Section 30 attempts to prohibit landlords from legitimately ending tenancy contracts when selling more than 5 units in any development, this is particularly damaging for owners of Pre63 houses in studios” said Mr. Faughnan, “while Section 31 seeks to repeal a landlord’s right to terminate a further Part 4 tenancy within the first six months. Both of these proposed provisions can only be described as a further assault on the providers of private rental accommodation, being grossly unfair, possibly unconstitutional and way out of line with the need to create a working partnership between the State and private landlords.”

He went on to say that there are many legitimate reasons why a landlord has to terminate a tenancy and the provider has to have the right to call on that course of action when necessary.  “No responsible landlord willingly ends the tenancy of a tenant who abides by the responsibilities which go with being a tenant, and the Minister would be far better off working with the Minister for Finance to create a more effective tax structure which would encourage landlords to stay in the business.”

Mr Faughnan added that while Minister Coveney apparently accepts that landlords have high costs, which he would of course have full knowledge of being himself a residential landlord in his Cork constituency in Rochestown, he fails to understand that the policy of his Government in the discriminatory taxation treatment of private landlords continues to be the elephant in the room.  “Until the Government accept private landlords as their partners in the provision of accommodation, there will be serious impediments which are increasingly difficult to solve”.