Government ‘has thrown landlords under the bus’, ministers hear

Landlords had lobbied for tax incentives to help them stay in the rental market.
Government ‘has thrown landlords under the bus’, ministers hear

By Michelle Devane, PA

Landlords have been “thrown under the bus” by the Government, it has been claimed.

Richard, a landlord with four properties, told RTE’s Today With Claire Byrne Budget phone-in that landlords did not feel valued.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath answered questions from members from the public during the radio programme less than 24 hours after they delivered Budget 2023 in the Dail.

Richard said he had been waiting to “get some light” in the Budget, but added: “What I’ve seen is that we’ve been thrown under the bus.”

Landlords had called for the Government to introduce incentives to keep smaller landlords in the market.

Instead, the Finance Minister on Tuesday announced he was enhancing the pre-letting expenses regime for landlords by doubling the amount that can be claimed per premises to €10,000 and by reducing the period for which a premises must be vacant from 12 to six months.

Richard told the ministers that introducing schemes for new landlords was “not going to cut it” for existing ones and would force smaller landlords to get out of the market.

“The whole thing about the rental situation is you need to keep the landlords you have,” he said.

“You really need to keep them. Putting in new schemes to encourage more landlords to join up is not going to cut it.

 

“You have actually got them – you need to keep them and the only way to keep them is to try and help them to stay in the business.”

Mr McGrath said: “While the measure that Paschal (Donohoe) announced is intended really to assist in attracting more landlords into the market, I think it does send a signal.

“It is a signal from the Government to landlords, we want you to stay and we want people who are interested in investing in property to look at it as a viable proposition.”

But the caller said landlords were “not valued whatsoever”.

“If you’re taxing people at very high rates, how can you expect them to return low rents?” he said.

“I can see why a whole load of people are just getting out.

“It looks like a two-tier market where you have the big landlords that are catered for.”

 

James, another landlord with four rental properties, told the programme he had been waiting with “bated breath” to see if anything in the Budget would help smaller landlords.

“As an existing landlord, I have no incentive. In fact… I’m more incentivised to exit the market,” he said.

After the programme Mr Donohoe said he was “aware” of calls to allow landlords to pay lower rates of income tax.

“The reality is that if the Government were to do something like that, I would have been on this programme this morning with many other groups within our society… for whom times are very hard and also want to lower rates of tax,” he said.

He said the measure introduced in the Budget to encourage more smaller landlords into the market showed the Government’s “desire” to support smaller landlords.

He added that it was a “targeted” measure aimed at increasing supply and it had been “excoriated” by opposition parties last year.

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