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Rise in 'accidental landlords' as homeowners rent out properties to cover mortgage costs

FLAC noted a “striking” rise in queries about housing such matters, which were up almost 70 per cent since 2011.

Image: Dragon Images via Shutterstock

THE NUMBER OF ‘accidental landlords’ in Ireland has risen due to a growing number of people choosing to rent out their homes in order to meet mortgage expenses.

Legal rights group FLAC showed a rise in housing/landlord and tenant issues in its annual report for 2012. FLAC noted a “striking” rise in queries to its national telephone and referral line around such matters, which were up almost 70 per cent since 2011.

The report noted that the number of people renting out their houses “purely because of a need to meet mortgage expenses rather than make a living from their investment” in particular had increased.

Calls about legal aid also increased significantly, with queries rising almost 35 per cent. Calls regarding negligence and personal injury rose by a third on the previous year.

FLAC noted that although certain types of calls had increased, the total number of calls had fallen by 3.6 per cent year-on-year, with 12, 459 calls taken in 2012. However, queries to FLAC centres remained steady, with 12,991 people receiving basic legal advice.

Of the legal issues most commonly being raised at centres, family law remained the top issue at 34.4 pert cent of queries. Employment law came in next at 15.3 per cent and credit and debt law queries at 9.7 per cent.

The report highlighted some “noticeable trends” during 2012, including a 15 per cent increase in housing/landlord and tenant-related issues; a 10 per cent increase in neighbour dispute problems and in queries regarding wills; and an 11 per cent increase in enquiries around solicitor-client relations.

Read: House prices in the EU continue to plummet
Read: Nearly one in eight commercial properties in Ireland is unoccupied
Read: Back for good? Irish lenders promoting 90 per cent mortgages

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