Sinn Féin housing spokesperson, Eoin Ó Broin, wants more action after eviction notices double in last year
The rate of landlords exiting the market has reached an unprecedented rate with numbers doubling over the past 12 months.
New figures from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) show that 1,011 landlords issued eviction notices between April and June, more than double compared to this time last year.
The figure pales in comparison to the 498 landlords who issued notices with intent to quit during the same period last year, which was higher than pre-pandemic levels.
However, the numbers have been steadily growing and were recorded at 614 for the last three months of 2021.
There has been a 45pc jump in landlords deciding to sell up between the first two quarters of this year, it can be revealed.
Accidental landlords and pension pot landlords are thought to be playing a significant part in this exodus.
The RTB figures were released to Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin, who said the best way to deal with a shrinking rental market was to build more social housing. He called on the Housing Minister, Darragh O’Brien, to act.
“There are a large number of people in the rental market who never wanted to be landlords, they are accidentals,” Mr Ó Broin said.
“They either purchased a property to live in at an earlier stage in their life and as their family expanded, they wanted to move to a bigger property and got stuck in negative equity.
“Those people are going to sell no matter what you do with tax.
“There’s also what we call pension-pot landlords. These are people who bought a second property, generally with tax relief, during the Celtic Tiger – not for the rent roll but because they wanted to make sure they could have a pension.
“Many of those landlords are approaching pension age and because property prices are so high, they’re selling,” he added. It comes as the highest ever number of homeless people was recorded in Ireland last week.
More than 10,500 people were staying in emergency accommodation in July, according to figures released by the Department of Housing.
The crisis was described as never as “bleak or urgent” by the Dublin Simon Community.
Almost 700 landlords
698 landlords told the RTB they were evicting tenants so they could sell on their properties during the months of January, February and March, and this number jumped to 1,011 in the second quarter of the year.
And 60pc of all evictions are due to landlords selling up, figures show.
There were 1,666 tenants who were served with eviction notices between April and June, an increase from 1,132 during the first three months of the year.
The second most common reason for evictions was the landlord or their family moving back into the property, with 300 reporting this to be the case.
There were 140 eviction notices served due to a breach of tenant obligations and 75 said it was because the property was no longer suited to accommodating the tenants.
However, the number of landlords exiting the market may be even higher as thousands of tenants left cities during the pandemic and these homes could be sold without the RTB being alerted.
The stark figures come as property prices have hit Celtic Tiger levels, with CSO data showing they were up 14.1pc in June, with an 11.8pc rise in Dublin.
The Central Statistics Office said property is now at its most elevated level since the boom back in April 2007.
Housing experts have also warned that rent controls over a long period of time may persuade landlords to sell up, further tightening the squeeze on the rental market.
Flat rent controls, such as rent freezes, over long periods of time can drive down housing supply and raise prices, a senior member of the newly established Housing Commission previously warned.
The Government is considering reducing the high taxes landlords pay on rental income as part of the upcoming Budget.