Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Paul McAuliffe
11 November 2015
Government rent reforms fail to deliver family friendly leases
The Leader of Fianna Fáil on Dublin City Council, Cllr Paul McAuliffe has criticised the government’s failure to deliver a new ‘Family Friendly’ lease which could have increased security for families who rent.
“The lack of security is a major issue inhibiting the development of a strong reliable rental market in Ireland. Unlike the European norm, Irish leases are primarily short term one year leases. This generates great uncertainty for families and other long term renters, limiting the appeal of renting for those for whom home ownership is not a preferred option,” said Cllr McAuliffe.
“In particular families with children require stability and certainty rather than the current situation where tenancy can be brought to an abrupt end. If you have children enrolled in a local school, it can be almost impossible in the current market to keep them in that school if you face eviction.
“In August Fianna Fáil proposed the replacement of the 4 year tenancy cycle with a move towards indefinite leases which would enhance security of tenure. Indefinite leases would have been voluntary for landlords and tenants to engage in to their mutual benefit. To encourage landlords to participate in the scheme, Fianna Fáil had proposed a tax incentive allowing full mortgage interest relief against rental income to be put in place, but only for those landlords who engage in family and long term leases.
“The Government’s failure to replace the 12month lease format has left renters and landlords without any long term certainty.”
Cllr McAuliffe’s proposal is fully costed. The full restoration of mortgage interest relief against rental income would cost €95m. Based on the DKM rental survey some 65% of tenants renting for over 4 years there is potential for up to 65% take-up of long term tenures. Total maximum cost to the exchequer of incentivising indefinite leases would be €62m.