Submission to the Working Group to Examine and Report on the Tax Treatment of Landlords

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Amidst the ongoing housing and homelessness crisis, the private rental sector is becoming increasingly unstable. Since 2012, the cost of rent in the private rental sector has increased by 50%, while the number of available properties has decreased by 78%.1 Looking to more recent figures, according to the Quarter 4 Rental Report, rents rose by an average of 13.5% between September and December, the biggest 12-month increase in the price of rent extending back to 2002. During this period, average national rents rose from €1,077 to €1,111. There were fewer than 4,000 homes to rent nationwide on February 1st 2017, 10% fewer than on the same date a year previously.2 The most recent emergency accommodation figures published by the Department of Housing Planning, Community and Local Government show there are 7,421 men, women and children trapped in emergency accommodation.3 We know that many of the people who are becoming homeless are coming from the Private Rented Sector. Recently published Census 2016 figures show there are 497,111 households renting in the private rental sector, an increase of 22,323 households, representing an increase of 4.7% on Census 2011.4 A sustainable private rented sector requires ongoing investment by landlords in new and current properties. Favourable tax treatment for landlords alongside increased security of tenure and rent certainty for tenants should not be considered competing rights or benefits. This brief submission will firstly examine the current regime of tax incentives available to landlords in the private rental sector. This will be followed by an analysis of current rental supply measures as contained in the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness (Action Plan) and the possibilities for incentivising long term, sustainable and affordable investment in the sector.

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