Wednesday 28 September 2016

Tenants forced out of homes as housing shortage tempts owners to sell

Published 16/06/2015 | 02:30

Estate agent Michael Boyd
Estate agent Michael Boyd

The housing shortage is tempting landlords to cash in and sell up, forcing some tenants out of properties at short notice.

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In some cases landlords have little choice but to sell because they need to settle debts with the bank.

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Estate agent Michael Boyd is based in Kilkenny, where he sells homes and manages lettings. He said the housing shortage was having a massive impact on families, as well as on his own business.

And in conjunction with bank repossessions, he said it was making families homeless.

"Some weeks ago we had to issue a notice to quit to a tenant and his three children. He is a model tenant and keeps the house well. The rent is paid up to date every month by the local authority. He is a good member of the community and has done nothing wrong and yet is being evicted because the bank is insisting that the owner sell the house," he said.

"Kilkenny County Council has no replacement accommodation for this family. This is typical of what is happening around the country every week."

In a normal month he said his firm should be conducting 20 lettings but were doing around five because there was no supply.

"We should be doing about six sales but are only doing two per month. The €30,000 in VAT presently being charged on an average house is an inequitable burden on a young couple who are forced to borrow that sum over the life of a mortgage to pay a tax on an essential need," he said.

"There will be calls that the State cannot afford to lose such an income, but at the moment, there is no significant economic activity taking place in this market.

"Meantime Part Five is levied on buyers of new homes to provide social and affordable housing - the very people who can barely afford to house themselves.

"It has not been a success and the State should explore the wider range of options that they have for meeting social housing needs."

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