Quarter of small landlords likely to sell properties in next five years

Politicians are to be briefed on the preliminary results of new research by the Residential Tenancies Board

A quarter of small landlords are likely or very likely to sell their rental properties in the next five years, according to new research conducted by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

The chairman of the RTB, Tom Dunne, is to outline some preliminary findings of the organisation’s Rental Sector Survey during an appearance at the Oireachtas housing committee on Tuesday.

The sale of a property is one reason that renters can be asked to leave their home and there is concern over the departure of landlords from the market and the impact on supply amid a housing crisis.

Earlier this month, housing charity Threshold highlighted how 1,384 renters sought their help between July and September after they got a notice of termination from their landlord.


Some 60 per cent said the notice was issued because the landlord intended to sell.

At the committee meeting Mr Dunne will outline how the RTB registers tenancies, operates a dispute resolution service and regulates aspects of the rental sector.

It implements legislation set by the Government but it does not make the law nor rental policy.

He will set out research published in 2021 and also the preliminary results of a further study carried out this year.

Mr Dunne will say that last year’s research “shows that, notwithstanding the very real challenges in the sector, 79 per cent of tenants said their renting experience was positive and 88 per cent of smaller landlords indicated that their experience with their current tenants was positive”.

He will say this “reflects positively on the rental sector in Ireland” while adding that “on the other hand, our research also showed that affordability was a key issue for tenants”.

Mr Dunne will say there has been a second phase of research this year and he is expected to share the preliminary results of surveys of smaller landlords.

They show that 94 per cent of small landlords do not manage properties as their primary occupation and 90 per cent of property owners are “reporting a positive experience with their tenants”.

Mr Dunne says: “A quarter of the small landlords surveyed stated they are either likely or very likely to sell their rental properties in the next five years, with just over half saying they were unlikely to sell.”

He says the surveys also show that property owners, tenants and agents find the regulatory framework and changing legislation difficult to navigate and understand, and there is “a lack of awareness among tenants of some key protections”.

It was also reported that the RTB disputes process took too long to reach a final outcome.

On measures being taken by the RTB, Mr Dunne says complex legislation and rules can give rise to confusion or to a risk of inadvertent noncompliance.

“Having a clear and streamlined legislative framework in place would make it easier for property owners and tenants to understand and comply with their responsibilities, which would have a positive impact on the sector overall,” he says.

Mr Dunne says the RTB will be engaging further with the Government during 2023 on the case for reform of the Residential Tenancies Act.

He will also outline how the RTB has recently introduced default mediation to support both property owners and tenants to resolve issues early without recourse to lengthier, more formal, and more adversarial processes.

His opening statement to the committee will say that in instances where parties choose mediation as an option, there is an 80 per cent success rate.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times