Sir, – Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien would be well advised to examine closely the findings of the Residential Tenancies Board’s rental sector survey, the results of which were released during this week. This is one of the largest and most comprehensive studies carried out in the rental market, and it puts to bed many of the fallacies regularly put forward on this sector. At last it provides policymakers with hard evidence provided by a very large sample of tenants and landlords.
What does it show? Tenant satisfaction levels are amazingly high, with only 3 per cent dissatisfied with their rental experience.
A total of 94 per cent had no difficulty in paying their rent, while only 25 per cent had had a rent increase during their tenancy.
However, the situation with landlords and the supply side is quite serious. In the past five years, there has been a reduction of 25,000 in the number of properties for rental. And the survey indicates that 26 per cent of landlords with five or less units are likely to sell within the next five years, quoting an unprofitable sector, high taxes, the regulatory environment and closeness to retirement.
Worryingly, these landlords provide 72 per cent of national rented properties. Regrettably, Government policy has been to force out home providers in this sector, which mainly supplies the affordable end of the rental market, while providing tax and other incentives to the large international funds that have tended to generally supply at excessively high rents.
We have a supply problem and basic economics suggests that policy should be designed to attract more suppliers than to force existing suppliers out of the market.
The Minister should be aware that bad policy interventions in a market have bad outcomes. – Yours, etc,