‘We need more, not fewer private landlords’ says Ceann Comhairle Sean O’Fearghail
- 7:00, 29 Aug 2022
IRELAND needs more private landlords to ease the housing crisis, it’s claimed.
The Irish Sun revealed at the weekend how 40 TDs and Senators rent out private properties — with at least eight benefitting from State or council rental schemes.
We then asked these politicians if they agreed with Robert Troy’s assertion that landlords are “vilified”.
The TD made the claim after resigning from his ministerial role over mistakes he made in declaring his interests in 11 properties he owns.
Most of those who replied insisted landlords are not vilified, but most worried about the numbers leaving the private rental market.
Fine Gael Senator Micheal Carrigy was the only politician of the ten who said outright that landlords are vilified.
Eight politicians said they do not believe landlords are vilified, including Independent TD Sean Canney, Fianna Fail’s Michael Moynihan, Sean O’Fearghail, Timmy Dooley and Robbie Gallagher and Fine Gael’s Alan Dillon, Martin Conway and Sean Kyne.
Ceann Comhairle Sean O’Fearghail, who rents a house he inherited from his parents, told The Irish Sun he is a “reluctant landlord”.
He said: “I’m not a professional landlord but there is something of a tendency to portray landlords as the villain and tenants as the victim and that is not how it is.
“We undoubtedly have a most awful and appalling housing crisis that is an indictment on our system and an indictment of how the system has operated for the last decade or more.
“But if we didn’t have private landlords how much worse would the system be? The answer to that is immeasurably worse.
“We need more not fewer private landlords in the market but we need them to act responsibly and comply with standards and regulations.”
The Dail’s biggest landlord Micheal Healy-Rae, who rents 18 properties, said he is concerned by the “exodus” from the private rental market.
Fine Gael Senator Sean Kyne said: “Landlords are needed.
“I am concerned by the exit of landlords from the sector.
“More is needed in the forthcoming budget to support renters and landlords.”
Fellow FG Senator Martin Conway, who rents two pads , said landlords aren’t vilified but he believes there’s too much focus on bad landlords.