The Irish are all obsessed with property ownership. Some say it’s the old foreign landlord fear – built up from 400 years of foreign control; some say it’s because we can touch, feel and see it and it will be there in 20 years regardless of investment performance on the stock markets.
And that’s all fine except it has manifested in small landlords owning one or two properties (we have in excess of 100,000 people owning one property let out privately). As a result, residential lets are treated by tenants as short term as renters cannot put down roots; cannot even put a nail in the wall! Worse; renters get kicked out when the landlords kids are coming up to UCD and while the legislation protecting the renter is growing; it’s still all very amateur.
We now have a shortage of property (which happens from time to time everywhere) and what happens, the private landlord ramps up the price. Now that’s fine and capitalist but it has major repercussions. The major one is that renters pay more rent, demand pay rises and our economy becomes less competitive.
The Government is driving the small buy to let landlord out of the market with high taxes and ever increasing tenant protections but they have not thought about who is going to replace them as all capitalist societies need a good rental market. Again no holistic approach!