A winter eviction ban should be opposed because “most landlords aren’t even getting by”, the Irish Property Owners Association has claimed.
In August, a record 10,805 people were living in emergency accommodation and it is expected that the figure will increase further in the coming months.
During lockdown the Irish Government brought in an eviction ban and the number of homeless people fell. With that precedent in mind, Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien is carrying out a consultation on whether another ban should be brought in this winter.
The policy has the support of respected homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry, who said it was one way Ireland "can get a grip on this homeless problem.”
However, the country's landlords have reacted very differently.
“Our members would be very concerned about imposing an eviction ban for many reasons,” Mary Conway, a spokesperson for the Irish Property Owners Association, told The Pat Kenny Show.
“What happens at the end of March, what’s going to have changed? Are there going to be more houses built between now and March that are going to take in tenants?”
Ms Conway added that the true driver of homelessness was not landlords evicting their tenants but the lack of affordable housing in general.
“Really, the whole thing here is the failure of successive Governments to provide social housing,” she continued.
“There are tenants in the private market that should have been in social housing from the beginning but the houses just weren’t built.”
Rents in Ireland have surged by 12.6% in the past year alone and Dublin is the fifth most expensive city in Europe to rent in.
Despite this, Ms Conway claimed that many landlords are struggling.
“Inflation is going up, taxes are going up, landlords are at the end of the day still people… Most landlords aren’t even getting by at this stage.
“Why are landlords leaving the market? Because of over regulation and over taxation. This is imposing another restriction on landlords.”
Main image: A man finds eviction notice on the door of the house. Picture by: Alamy.com