Thursday, 8 September 2016

Government Plan on Housing


The government action plan for housing and homelessness has been published and includes a section on the rental sector. Below some of the report content relevant to the rental market

The rental sector has always catered for a diverse range of households, but increasingly rental housing is becoming a more permanent home for a growing number of both individuals and families.

The key actions set out in this Plan will build on the structures already in place to support the rental sector in Ireland.
Ireland is relatively unique internationally in having a dedicated regulatory body for the rental sector – the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) – providing tenancy registration, advice, and dispute resolution services. It will be important to ensure that the regulatory framework and supporting policy for the rental sector is fit for purpose in terms of the role envisaged for the sector in the future – one that is attractive for tenants and landlords, offering appropriate supports and protections for both.

To do this, DHPCLG will publish a strategy for the rental sector by Q4 2016. This strategy will contain a range of actions focused on:

• Security – bringing greater certainty to tenants and landlords;
• Supply – maintaining existing levels of rental stock and encouraging investment in additional supply;
• Standards – improving the quality and management of rental accommodation; and
• Services – broadening and strengthening the role and powers of the RTB to more effectively provide their services and empower tenants and landlords.

Rental housing, because of its flexibility, is particularly important in enabling the housing market to adapt to the changing needs of the population. In Ireland, the rental sector has traditionally been regarded as a residual sector in which households, who would prefer either to own their own home privately or access permanent social housing, must serve time on their way to their true tenure of choice. This has to change if Ireland is going to develop a truly affordable, stable and sustainable housing sector.

Rental housing provides a flexible housing option to meet rising demand and can promote better alignment with the more mobile labour market of 21st Century Ireland. It also aligns with changes in people’s behaviour in terms of house purchase, making it easier for individuals and families to pursue job opportunities or adapt their accommodation to changing family circumstances quickly. A well-developed rental sector can reduce the macro-economic risks of an over-reliance on home ownership. Countries with relatively large private rented sectors, such as Germany and Switzerland, have been better insulated.

The rental sector in Ireland has doubled in size over the course of the last two decades. Almost one fifth of the population now lives in the rental sector. Growth in the sector has been driven by a range of factors including a reducing reliance on home ownership as a tenure of choice, demographic factors including inward EU migration, decreasing household size, and increasing rates of new household formation. The contribution made by the rented sector in delivering social housing supports for low-income households through long-term leasing initiatives and, more recently, the Housing Assistance Payment, have also been key factors.

 In parallel with the growth in the rented sector, Ireland’s traditional reliance on home ownership, driven and supported by easy access to mortgage finance and a range of incentives that have been offered to households going back to the foundation of the State, has been reducing over time. While Ireland still has one of the highest rates of owner occupation in the OECD, there is an increasing acceptance that a viable and sustainable rental sector is a key building block for a modern economy.

 However, the rental sector in Ireland is not yet a truly viable or sustainable sector. Severe supply pressures, rising rents, concerns regarding security of tenure, regulatory treatment of encumbered buy-to-let properties, examples of poor accommodation standards and a shortage of professional institutional landlords or other landlords with long-term investment plans all act as impediments to delivering a strong and modern rental sector that offers real choice for individuals and households, while contributing to economic growth.

Rental Strategy
The Government is committed to developing a real and meaningful strategy for the rental sector to enable it to develop to its full potential. This strategy, to be completed by Q4 2016, will chart a path forward, offering a vision for what role we want and expect the sector to play over the short, medium and long term. Incorporating measures already under development, including the new Deposit Protection Scheme, it will contain a range of ambitious measures which the Government will pursue in partnership with the RTB, other stakeholders and agencies in the housing arena.

It will be a strategy developed with the needs of both tenants and landlords in mind.

 The strategy will be structured around the following four key areas: security, standards, supply and services. The following are some of the specific measures that will be considered under these headings:

• The potential role of new mechanisms for both setting and reviewing rent, similar to some continental European models, that reflect local market rents and are informed by comprehensive and up-to-date market data;
• Legislative measures to protect tenants affected by landlords’ arrears (encumbered buy-to-lets); and
• The scope for a move to indefinite leases, replacing the Part IV four-year tenancy, perhaps with incentives for landlords to waive their right to terminate a tenancy in the event of the sale of the property.

• Provision of mixed tenure development – including market rental – by local authorities and AHBs using HFA or other funding;
• A build-to-rent model that can deliver additional supply towards the overall target supply of 25,000 units per annum; and
• An affordable rental programme

Standards• Implementation of new standards following on from the 2016 review process underway; and
• A move towards enforcement of quality standards in rental accommodation on a regional basis.

Services• Reform of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), as a regulator, to improve services for tenants and landlords, with a specific focus on:
o accelerated dispute resolution timeframes;
o streamlined eviction process for very problematic tenancies (for example, extreme arrears cases);
o greater focus on non-adversarial dispute resolution and prevention through education, awareness and support;
o greater awareness by tenants and landlords of their rights and responsibilities; and
o restructuring of the RTB fee structure to reflect trends in the rental sector and allow the RTB to plan properly for the delivery of a broader range of services.

Early Legislative Actions New legislative provisions governing tenancy terminations will be brought forward in the Autumn for early enactment. These will include actions to prevent a future recurrence of situations which have arisen, where large numbers of residents in a single development are served with termination notices simultaneously. While it is not intended to dilute the right of landlords to sell their property (subject to the requirements currently set out in the Act), it is proposed that where a landlord proposes to sell 20 or more units within a single development, the sale would be subject to the existing tenants remaining in situ, other than in exceptional circumstances.

Other early actions will be taken to enhance the RTB’s enforcement and dispute resolution powers. Specifically, it is proposed to amend the Residential Tenancies Acts to accelerate dispute resolution timeframes (by reducing the time period for appeals), restructure the administration process and provide for the possibility of one-person tribunals for certain categories of cases. We will also examine the model for resourcing enforcement within the RTB to allow for more enforcement cases to be taken in the future.

 Standards in Rental Accommodation
The current minimum standards for rental accommodation are prescribed in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008, as amended, made under section 18 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992. These regulations specify requirements in relation to a range of matters, such as, structural repair, sanitary facilities, heating, ventilation, natural light, as well as safety of gas and electrical supply. All landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that their rented properties comply with these Regulations.

Responsibility for enforcement of the Regulations currently rests with the relevant local authority, supported by DHPCLG via a dedicated stream of funding (provided from part of the proceeds of tenancy registration fees collected by the RTB).

To ensure that the standards reflect the requirements of a modern rental market, a review of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008, as amended, has been initiated and a stakeholder consultation process is underway. This review will be concluded in Autumn 2016.

Challenging Times Ahead for Landlords  send out this message last week

Are you fed up trying to keep on top of all the rules and regulations for landlords?

The private rented sector is going through a period of rapid change. 2016 has seen the introduction of the most significant changes to the rules and regulations in over a decade


With more changes to rules and regulations in the pipe-line including the introduction of a deposit protection scheme you need to ensure that you have access to the latest advice and information because the penalties for non-compliance are significant.

Giving landlords a voice... has evolved to meet the needs of landlords

As well as providing the latest information on-line we now represent the interests of landlords to key officials such as the PRTB (now called the RTB), Irish Water, The Housing Minister and his officials by meeting them on a regular basis. We are currently calling for more equitable tax treatment for residential landlords and more equitable rental regulations

You are not alone...

By joining you get access to all the latest information. Our new members site includes: 

  • A Tax Centre
  • Tutorial Videos on topics including Tax
  • Calculators including a tax estimation tool and a notice period calculator
  • Documents and Templates
  • Help & Advice Articles

Lease Agreement (Lease Plan Membership only) 

By investing heavily in IT and web technology we seek to keep our cost base low and pass on the savings through low cost membership fees

We offer two main membership plans:

Standard Membership €50 per year  - join today and get a 50% discount

Lease Plan Membership €120 per year (included access to an up to date lease agreement)

Northern Ireland TDS launches new training academy

TDS Northern Ireland one of the Northern Irish deposit protection schemes which is based in Belfast is launching a new training academy for landlords, letting agents and other property professionals.

This three part programme will equip delegates with knowledge on the legal aspects of tenancy deposit protection as well as best practise management with the final course focusing on dispute resolution.

The training will count towards CPD - Continuous Professional Development for professional bodies like ARLA. It will give delegates access to expert and practical advice from senior colleagues of TDS Northern Ireland.

Ben Beadle who is Managing Director of TDS Northern Ireland said "Our new Academy will provide a unique collection of courses for property professionals which will mean that tenants are in the very best of hands"

He went on to say "The training is open to all landlords, letting agents and property professionals with a preferential rate for TDS Northern Ireland members"

Source: The Negotiator

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and Introduction of the Deposit Protection Scheme has sent out an email a couple of days ago "Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and Introduction of the Deposit Protection Scheme"

Changes to Residential Tenancies Act  

The new Residential Tenancies Act was signed in to law recently and represents the biggest change to affect the rental sector in over a decade. 
The legislation contains lots of technical details which will significantly affect landlords and will greatly increase the amount of paperwork and legal requirements to be complied with. 
The new act brings into force the legislation required for the commencement of the Deposit Protection Scheme which will be operated by the PRTB.
The legislation contains numerous measures many of which will be introduced on a phased basis and will keep you updated as the changes take effect. 

For now the key points to note are:
  • The new deposit protection scheme has not yet commenced. For the moment there is no immediate change to the handling of deposits.
  • The notice period for a rent increase has increased to 90 days. The legislation contains new requirements to provide comparable market rents and other documentation to tenants but this element of the act is not yet active.
  • The notice periods for tenancies over five years duration have increased.
  • The rent can only be reviewed every two years (as opposed to yearly under the old rules) For example if a tenancy began in September 2014 the rent cannot be increased until September 2016, under the old rules the rent could have been increased in September 2015  

2016 will be a challenging year for landlords and will he here to provide the information you need. We are meeting with the PRTB to clarify the new rules and will post the information on our web-site early in the new year.

Landlord Training
The rental market is now extremely complex with numerous rules and regulations to be complied with from the Residential Tenancies Act, Rental Standards and Taxation rules.  

In 2016 they will launch our on-line Residential Tenancies Best Practice Training Course which will include webinars and on-line materials.  

To register your interest for early bird pricing please e-mail with training in the subject line
The rental market in the Republic of Ireland is becoming as complex as that in Northern Ireland and other European countries.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Family Home or Investment opportunity for Sale in Drumcondra, Dublin 9 Revisited

On the 11th February this was published on the Irish Property Insurance + Blog site. At the time it had gone on the market at a guide price of €595,000 (Original article here)

As a result of the Central Bank's  new lending regulations brought in during the early part of 2015, houses do not appear to have been selling for prices paid in 2014.

The owners are being very realistic now about the market and this excellent family home in Drumcondra, North Dublin. They have instructed the agents  Kelly Bradshaw Dalton to advise anyone who has seen it and really liked it in the last few months who might have been able to afford a higher price under old lending regulations in 2014, that the owners would consider an offer of €510,000 for a quick sale.

This house has great potential for expansion to a 5 bedroom residence as other similar properties have been transformed in that road that runs parallel with Griffith Avenue.

For more information go to Kelly Bradshaw Dalton’s website at

Or give them a call on (01) 804 0500

Excess car hire insurance article appearing in The Herald this week

The spring bank holiday is just around the corner and on Monday this week The published an article on hiring a car - "Consumer Champion: Drive a harder bargain on extras when hiring a car for holidays"

The article says "One of the biggest culprits is the excess. In Ireland we’re used to our car insurance policies having an excess of around €250 – this is the first bit of any claim that you have to pay. However, on hire cars the excess is normally anywhere between €600 to €2,000 making even a simple tip or scratch monumentally expensive"

I know that last week hiring a car in Dublin and taking out car hire excess insurance from an independent provider provision was made on my credit card for a debit of €1,350 if there was an accident. I would then have had to provide that money till the insurance company providing the excess waiver policy stepped in. Had I purchased the more expensive insurance the car hire company wanted to sell me (so they gained a good commission) I would not have had have the reserve available from my credit card.

The article emphasises exactly what type of situation can occur and go onto to say  "For instance, well known companies like Hertz and Avis charge hundreds for this cover at the hire desk, but buying it before you go can save., for example, sells Excess Cover starting at €2.99 per day in Ireland, so a little planning goes a long way".  You can find out more about Carhireexesscom here.

The article goes on to remind people hiring a car that taking their own Sat Navs and the fuel policy, It is essential to check this out when you make a booking and although some firms might be cheaper than others, the cheaper car hire companies might have a pick up policy with a full tank (of expensive fuel) and return it empty. That is not a lot of good if you are not driving far. Last week in four days of driving the car in theory was still over a quarter full. It was much more economic to fill it up and get a full fuel refund.

See the full Herald article here  

Looking for Travel Insurance for that holiday - Find out more Here

Visiting your holiday home over the holidays and looking for property insurance for holiday homes? Find out more here

Monday, 30 March 2015

Have you got your insurance for the Easter Holidays?

The Easter holiday period is nearly here and if you are taking a short break don't forget your insurance cover.

At there are a great selection of companies advertising their products. Travel Insurance - Car Hire Excess Waiver Insurance - Holiday Home Insurance - Pet Insurance.

You might be about to arrange a spring or summer wedding. Don't forget your wedding insurance either.

To find out more, visit the marketing website today buy those insurance essentials direct from the insurance companies themselves.

Insurance is one essential you can not be without FIND OUT MORE HERE  Open 24/7 all over Easter as well.