Housing crisis and capping rents

 

Sir, – Following this Government’s “bottom line” Christmas gift of a 4 per cent per annum increase for landlords, will it also adopt a matching annual pay increase for public service workers ? And do reindeers fly? – Yours, etc,

BERNARD GRIMES,

Glasnevin,

Dublin 9.

Sir, – The reality is that people from all stages of life and across all professions and jobs can no longer afford to live in Dublin (and other large cities in Ireland). Faffing around with caps at 2 per cent or 3 per cent or 4 per cent is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil need to intervene in a way that has the potential to address the problem and perhaps even solve it. – Yours, etc,

JUSTIN McALEESE,

Dublin 4.

Sir, – Simon Coveney’s plan fails to take any account of the current rent of a property. Landlords who have not raised the rent in recent years are treated in the same manner as landlords who have raised rents repeatedly. The plan effectively rewards these greedier landlords by consolidating their increases. This lack of fairness will result in reasonable landlords selling up and leaving the rental market, thus reducing supply. – Yours, etc,

MARK DILLON,

Dublin 2.

Sir, – The difficulty created by rising rents is widely acknowledged as becoming increasingly problematic for beleaguered renters. However, the proposal to restrict rent increases to 4 per cent per annum is the final nail in the coffin for any investor interested in this sector. The result of the proposals will be fewer investors, fewer properties and less choice.

During the crash, landlords were thrown to the wolves as rents plummeted but no legislation was ever introduced to prevent that chaotic scenario.

While the mooted rent increases will be limited to 4 per cent, the costs incurred by landlords continue to soar including management charges, maintenance charges, property tax, renewal fees, and Private Residential Tenancies Board charges.

The regulations and taxation surrounding this sector are vicious, vindictive and possibly unconstitutional because of the discrimination between old and new builds. It is unfortunate that they will also add to the chaos of homelessness by enshrining the unattractive nature of residential property investment. – Yours, etc,

GEOFF SCARGILL,

Bray, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – If the Government believes renters need protection against landlords, why not do the same for the much greater number of citizens being subjected to grotesque price hikes by motor and health insurance providers, and cap each and every charge by the Government and its agencies? – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL ANDERSON,

Balgriffin, Dublin 13.

Sir, – Garry Bury (December 14th) inadvertently exposes what is at the core of the housing crises when he says he “wouldn’t blame landlords if they made a 4 per cent annual increase a target rather than an upper limit”. This when we all are fully aware that thousands are having difficulties meeting ever rising rents.

The core problem here is the Government standing back and allowing the vital need for homes to be sidelined in the pursuit of ever-more profit. The ideology of those in charge can of course decide to “not interfere in the market” but the State does have a responsibility to ensure that each citizen has access to a place that they can live with dignity and security. That, quite clearly, it is failing to do. – Yours, etc,

JIM O’SULLIVAN,

Rathedmond,

Sligo.

Sir, – Your front-page assertion of December 13th that 4 per cent per year is the same as 12 per cent over three years is a common error. In fact, it’s 12.5 per cent (or, to be precise, 12.4864 per cent) but maybe that’s too much information. – Yours, etc,

PATRICK FITZPATRICK,

Bishopstown,

Cork.