Council Report No.159 – Private Rental in Ireland
- 15 February 2023
- Topics: Housing
- Types: Press Releases
‘Private Rental is a Public Concern’.
- The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has published a new report on housing, Private Rental in Ireland. The report highlights that the current housing crisis needs an increase in all types of housing. While private rental needs to grow, it is contracting even as demand for it is increasing.
- The report highlights that almost one fifth of households now live in private rental and many more are looking to rent.
- The recommendations in this report include stepping up efforts to mobilising vacant and derelict property by expanding the Repair and Leasing Scheme and adding more professional staff in the public system to advise and support property owners.
The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) have published a new report on housing, Private Rental in Ireland. This report states that the current housing crisis needs an increase in all types of housing and while private rental needs to grow, it is contracting even as demand for it is increasing. This report goes on to say that more public action by Government is needed to address the acute pressures this is causing for families and individuals, but there is also a need to discuss the long-term evolution of the rental sector.
Speaking on the publication of the Private Rental report Dr Larry O’Connell, Director of NESC said:
“Almost one fifth of households now live in private rental and many more are looking to rent. There is very limited supply available of new accommodation and what is available is very expensive: average monthly rent for a new tenancy in Ireland in the second quarter of 2022 was €1464 while in Dublin the average exceeded €2,000.”
In the report the Council makes a number of recommendations about how to help alleviate the immediate crisis in the private rental sector. First, the Council recommends consideration of further action to improve the tax treatment of landlords. It argues this should be tied to improved security of tenure for tenants.
Second, the Council argues that the best way to alleviate the rental crisis in the short term is through mobilisation of vacant property. It recommends that efforts to do so should be stepped-up, including by expanding the Repair and Leasing Scheme, and adding more professional staff in the public system to advise and support property owners. It also recommends that consideration be given to the introduction of requirements on the owners of vacant residential properties to make them available for rent as is done in Denmark.
Third, the Council highlights the scope to use changes in regulation to address issues in the rental market. It points to the need to examine the impact of rent pressure zones and for actions to help enforce and improve standards in rental accommodation, including in the medium-term consideration of a National Car Test (NCT)-type system whereby landlords would have to demonstrate compliance with minimum standards. It recommends reviewing the scope for regulatory changes to facilitate renovation of older properties. It also cautions that the proposed upgrading of the Building Energy Rating (BER) standards for private rental, as signalled in Housing for All, needs to be done in a way that avoids a loss of supply.
Noel Cahill, economist with NESC, stated that the report also provides a basis for a much wider and strategic longer-term discussion about the evolution of the rental sector.
“The report is very clear that there continues to be a strong economic rationale for ownership. There needs to be a step-change in the efforts to grow the alternative ‘non-market rental’ sector. This includes cost-rental which is being developed in Ireland. In addition, there is also potential to develop other alternatives to outright ownership. This includes owner-occupied housing on leased public land and on land owned by community land trusts. These can help shift the discussion away from a binary discussion of private rental versus ownership.”
The report makes many recommendations, and these include that Ireland’s legislation on overcrowding needs to be updated, that increased awareness is required of changes to Fair Deal that facilitate sale or rent of properties as well as the changes to social welfare that allow use of the Rent-a-Room relief without affecting means-tested payments. More information on the 2023 Private Rental report can be found here.
For further information contact:
Dr Cathal FitzGerald, Senior Analyst
t: 01 8146331
About the National Economic and Social Council (NESC)
The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) is celebrating 50 years of providing advice to the Taoiseach and Government on strategic policy issues relating sustainable economic, social and environment development in Ireland. To mark the 50th Anniversary NESC will be hosting a full-day, in-person conference in the Printworks, Dublin Castle, on 23rd November 2023. We are currently finalising the programme and will announce the programme and more details in due course. If you wish to receive updates on this and other events and news items throughout the year you can subscribe to our mailing list here.