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eviction ban

Varadkar: 'Demonisation' of landlords caused rent hikes and reduced housing supply

The Taoiseach said that over 40,000 landlords have left the rental market in recent years.

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has claimed that the demonisation of landlords in recent years has both hiked rents and reduced the number of rental properties available.

It comes as the Government signed off on ending the no-fault eviction ban at the end of the month, with Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien saying that extending it would reduce the number of rental properties on the market.

Speaking at Government Buildings this afternoon, Varadkar said that in recent years, 40,000 landlords have left the market but have not been replaced.

He argued that there was a “false narrative” being created and that the rights of both landlords and tenants were not competing rights.

“Renters need landlords and landlords need renters,” Varadkar said.

“What’s happened in the past number of years is 40,000 landlords have left the market and they haven’t been replaced by new landlords.

“That’s why people are in such long queues looking at a property when it becomes available and that’s why rents for properties that are new to the market are so high because there are so few [landlords].

“We need to get landlords back into the market and we need to stem the number that are leaving.”

He told reporters that there had been a “demonisation” of landlords in recent years by both the political system and wider society and that this had impacted on available properties and the increasing cost of rent.

“I do think that there has been a demonisation of landlords, by our political system and by wider society over the past number of years.

“That hasn’t worked, in fact its caused harm. It’s made rents higher. It’s made fewer properties available.

It’s really hurting people.

“We need to have regard to that now as the government and not be afraid to introduce measures that do encourage landlords to stay and come into the market.”

Varadkar criticised the Opposition over their attitudes to landlords, particularly hitting out at Sinn Féin over their proposals for additional taxes on landlords.

Following yesterday’s decision to end the eviction ban later this month, O’Brien admitted that homelessness “could very possibly” increase.

However, O’Brien said that he believed that further government interventions into the private rental market would further reduce the number of homes available.

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