Short-term letting and tackling the housing crisis

 

Sir, – The continuing governmental hostility to landlords using their properties for short-term letting represents an unacceptable interference in the ability of individuals to use their private property as they wish.

Traditionally in Ireland, the government of the day has taken responsibility for providing homes for those who cannot afford to buy their own.

However, successive governments have sold off significant amounts of the State’s housing stock, resulting in an inadequate supply of State housing for current needs. Many of these State-built houses are now changing hands on the property market at enormous prices, and being let at exorbitant rents. There would be no housing crisis if governments had not sold off this housing stock.

This Government is now turning on private landlords and blaming them for the crisis, even though private landlords have no obligations in this regard. As a private landlord, for every euro I receive after taxation and expenses, the Government receives almost twice that amount in different forms of taxation on the income and on the property. The Government is therefore by far the largest beneficiary of the current high-rent environment.

The long-term solution to the homelessness crisis is that it should be Government policy to add to its housing stock annually, and that its housing stock will never be sold off in the future. A short-term solution is that the Government would reduce its income from the private rental market by giving tax concessions to private landlords in exchange for rent reductions.

Meanwhile private landlords should group together and challenge the constitutionality of any Government interference in the enjoyment of their property. – Yours, etc,

AOIFE LORD,

Tankardstown, Co Meath.