The tug of war between private landlords and tenants and the rents struck between the two is of constant interest on here as rents are one of the predictors of property values. Private rents in Irelandare now increasing at 4% per annum according to the latest CSO inflation figures, but we wait to see if the reductions in rent assistance allowances provided by the Department of Social Protection which were announced in January 2012 will have any knock-on effect on private rents. Meanwhile last week, we had confirmation in a series of questions and answers in the Dail that there is no sign of the number of landlords reducing or of a concentration in the control of rented residential property. The figures were provided in the context of Ireland’s Non Principal Private Residence charge, a €200 per annum charge introduced in 2009 which applies to practically all second and more residential dwellings in the State – there is a very small list of exemptions.
So what do we find out? We find out that 135,971 people paid the NPPR charge on one dwelling and we know from Census 2011 that there are 59,395 holiday homes in the State, so that indicates that there are still a very large number of small-scale landlords in Ireland as presumably the non-holiday homes non-principal private residences will be available for rent. We find out that the number of landlords with 100+ properties has increased from 26 in 2009 to 38 today, a 46% increase. The number of non principal properties increased by nearly 7,000 between 2010 and 2011 and there are now 339,431 such properties in the State upon which the charge is paid..There are only two landlords in the State with over 200 dwellings so it will remain difficult in the tug of war between landlords and tenants for landlords to act as a cartel, but the evidence is that increased mortgage costs last year and the €100 household charge this year – which applies to all property so landlords are now paying a total of €300 per dwelling in charges – has seemingly propelled landlords to marginally gain ground in the tug of war.