Wednesday, 10 July 2019
Local Government Rates and Other Matters Bill 2018: Committee and Remaining Stages
We support the general thrust of the Bill but I and our party have a particular concern about section 25 which we oppose. In simple terms this is because section 25 refers to protected structures and suggests bringing the two-year limit down to one year. I have a problem with that due to the unintended consequence. By way of explanation, in a real example in Clondalkin, a colleague of mine rents a protected structure for €900 a month. The commercial rent for a two-bedroom house in Clondalkin is €2,200, which is kind of shocking.
If I was the landlord of that protected structure, I would take an economic decision and say that I will keep that house empty for a year because then I can move the rent right up to €2,200 and, effectively, I receive a much bigger profit on the back of it than if I continue to rent the apartment. The unintended consequence is that the house would remain vacant for a year in the midst of the worst housing crisis in the history of the State.There is no need for this section. I have given the Minister of State a clear example as to why it needs to be removed. I hope he listens because the consequences are too significant. We have to legislate for the broad population, not the landlord population.