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Seven in 10 property owners in arrears

A TOTAL of 70pc of buy-to-let owners are in arrears of up to a year, new research has identified.

The survey carried out and released by the Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA,) has shed light on the mortgage arrears position of buy-to-let properties.

The survey covered a random selection of 491 buy-to-let properties which had overall debt of €164.1m – 58pc of which was owed to the two main banks in Ireland, Bank of Ireland and AIB.

It also showed 70pc were in arrears, including 30pc who were in arrears of more than a year.

Stephen Faughnan, IPOA Chairman, said the figures "gave the lie to the notion that landlords were immune to the recession".

He said that 57pc of respondents indicated they were in negative equity with their buy-to-lets, and went on to strongly rebut suggestions that the other 43pc were all in good shape.

"Positive equity in a property does not always mean that the garden is rosy," he said.

"Loans, services, unfair taxes and maintenance have to be paid.

"Undoubtedly, there are some landlords who are better able to weather the recession, but they are few and far between."

Some 74pc of landlords have just one buy-to-let, and a further 24pc have between two and 10 properties.

"Landlords are hurting, just like other householders, and many of them went into the rental business during the boom years to supplement their future pensions, an idea heavily promoted by the Government and the banks," Mr Faughnan added.