Tuesday 24 April 2018

What you said the rental market needs

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

What is clear from a series of polls which ran on independent.ie is that most people believe they are paying too much in rent, and they would welcome certainty around their monthly payments.

Some 55pc said the costs should be no more than €700 per month in a rural location, with 61pc saying €1,200 is a "fair" rent in a city.

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This contrasts with what average market rents currently stand at, suggesting that a lack of supply is an issue which needs to be urgently tackled.

Some 76pc also believe that long-term leases should be introduced, and the rent decided at the beginning of a tenancy.

Rent certainty would also be welcomed, with 60pc saying payments should be index-linked, and rise (or fall) in line with the cost of living.

But despite a shortage of rental accommodation, there is no appetite for providing tax breaks to developers to fund rental-only buildings.

Readers' comments suggest a deep mistrust between landlords and tenants, with the former often seen as unscrupulous and unwilling to invest in high-quality accommodation.

"I've lost count of the number of times landlords have screwed me out of the deposit," one said, but added that foreign tenants were more likely to have mutual respect for the property owners, as they are used to renting.

Landlords themselves point out that many tenants do not respect properties, and often refuse to pay the rent and cause damage because the house is not seen as their own. But if references from employers are sought, problems are less likely to arise.

The 'Accidental Landlord' was among the most read articles during the series, with many expressing sympathy for those who bought a home, only to be forced to rent it because it was no longer suitable for their needs, but as they were in negative equity they were unable to sell.

The series has shown that profound issues exist, which need to be urgently addressed.

Irish Independent

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