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Fr Peter McVerry warns that Ireland has 'passed the tipping point’ as landlords leave the market

One way of keeping landlords in the private rental sector could be to give greater tax incentives

Fr Peter McVerry

Esther McCarthySunday World

Homelessness campaigner Fr Peter McVerry has warned that Ireland has “passed the tipping point” in relation to landlords in the market.

He was speaking as the Government could offer tax incentives to landlords if they offer tenants a longer lease, as part of the upcoming budget.

He welcomed the suggestion that the Government may incentivise private landlords to give tenants a longer lease. But he added there would need to be stricter conditions to protect tenants.

“I’m open to anything that will improve the situation, and if this works of course I'm in favour of it,” he told The Hard Shoulder on Newstalk this week.

“I have certain reservations though - landlords are constantly terminating leases in the middle of the lease because they want to sell their property, or they want to use it for their long-lost aunt who's just come back from Australia.

So there would need to be strict conditions attached to this.”

However, McVerry added that reforms may come too late as many landlords are already exiting the market and will not return.

“I think with regard to the private rented sector, I think we’ve passed the tipping point actually.

“I think more and more landlords are going to exit, and there's not much we can do about it.”

He added that one way of keeping landlords in the private rental sector could be to give greater tax incentives.

As Fr McVerry said he believes landlords are taxed too high as it stands.

"I would favour offering landlords, who would reduce the rent by 30%, I would offer them a 50% rebate on the tax paid on their rental income.

"That's a win for the tenants and it's a win for the landlord.

"Even though their rent goes down by 30%, they still make more money", he added.

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