Thursday, 23 October 2014

Rent Control would make things worse for tenants says PRTB report

The introduction of Rent Control would make the problems in the private-rented sector worse, a major study on the issue published  by the PRTB yesterday.

The 170 page report prepared for The Housing Agency on behalf of the Private Residential Tenancies Board says Rent Control would not address the underlying problems in the sector, would not generate better outcomes for tenants, and could lead to between 52,000 and 89,000 rented properties exiting the system.

The report warns that while rent regulations may have an initial benefit to tenants, the longer-term impact would see landlords leave the market, reducing supply and ensuring an upward pressure on rents. “Given where the Irish housing market is at present, the introduction of rent regulations in Ireland is likely to exacerbate the current problems being experienced in the market,” the report says. “A whole series of negative impacts are likely, including a reduction in new supply of rented property as well as an exodus of existing landlords from the sector.

New foreign investment, which is currently being encouraged to address the supply shortage, is likely to be discouraged. A supply-constrained market can also result in landlords being selective about their choice of tenant, thus generating black market activity. This issue may already be a feature of the market. Moreover, the introduction of rent regulations would see the impact falling disproportionately hard on the very people that the rent regulations are trying to assist.”  Sources - Irish Examiner - Irish Times - PRTB

Go to this page at the PRTB website to download the PDF report

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Rent Control is not the answer to Ireland's housing crisis

The Irish Property Owners Association recent press release has brought in a lot of  reaction in government circles.

The IPOA press release - Need to encourage investment.
The State should ensure that every person living in it has access to good quality accommodation at an affordable price.   

The Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA) believe this is usually done through a combination of more social housing, more rental accommodation and increased building where more accommodation is required. Chairman of the IPOA, Stephen Faughnan said that there is a perception that the private rental sector is responsible for all housing difficulties and is the landlords' fault.  "Landlords are clearly part of the solution," he said. "The State has not built sufficient social housing which means that more people  are looking to the private rental sector. The current Rent Supplement system is not fit for purpose and people who need assistance in paying for their accommodation are suffering."  

Between 2006 and 2011, the private rental sector doubled in size. "The State needs landlords to provide good quality rental accommodation, but Government actions mean available accommodation is decreasing," said Mr Faughnan. "Punitive intervention in the market has been unhelpful and is a major factor in the current situation. Tenants may be surprised to discover that circa 60% of the rent they pay may go to the State.  The reason for this is that rental income is classed as unearned, but a landlord must comply with all the legislation around letting – including repair and maintenance, insuring, advertising, showing, and returning accounts to Revenue."  He added that traditionally, a person who decided to invest in property borrowed to fund the property and was allowed to claim the full interest paid on the borrowed money as an expense against rental income. "In 2009, this was changed, not just for the people investing from then onwards, but for all the people who borrowed before. This resulted in some landlords paying income tax and USC on money that does not actually exist. " 

Others punitive actions for landlords include punitive levies of up to 700% for arrears of Non-Principal Private Residence Charge, and Local Property Tax which the IPOA said was brought in to fund services for the occupier, but instead of the occupier being liable for the services they are using themselves, Revenue make landlords the liable persons. "The LPT is a legitimate business expense in a rental property," said Mr. Faughnan, "but is not tax deductible so a landlord has to earn double it to pay it, and PRSI of 4% is also now being charged on rental income. The cost of improvements to a rental property cannot be claimed as an expense until it is sold, but the need for improvement is accepted in the meantime."  

The taxation system for rental property is flawed, he added, and this has resulted in landlords leaving the sector. Bedsit accommodation with shared bathrooms are now outlawed with no alternative in place. "This has reduced the supply of the most affordable accommodation," he said, "and we now have homelessness at levels never experienced before, with centrally located previously multiple properties being turned into single family accommodation.  Property prices are going up and short term investors have been encouraged into the sector, mostly cash buyers who may exit the sector when prices increase." 

The IPOA have called for the current tax treatment of the sector to be reviewed to attract long term investors, rather than encouraging overseas vulture funds who have no agenda other than quick profits.  "Continually talking of Rent Control, or its new buzzword 'Rent Certainty' ,will result in less investment in the sector and reduce the supply of property.  It could also have the unintended consequence of increasing rent as landlords now charging below market rent will be concerned about the restriction and may have to bring their rent up to market rent."  

"Rent cannot be arbitrarily raised, by 5,10,20 per cent as has been claimed, because the Residential Tenancies Act states that rent cannot be more than market rent.  Rent Control is not the answer, - adequate supply of accommodation is. The Government needs to put in place appropriate strategies to encourage long-term native investment in the private sector and build up the trust that was lost by blatantly unfair taxation, and other Government inspired practices, which are unique to the business of letting property." 
Then the Irish Times published - an article by Colin Gleeson "
Irish Property Owners Association criticises ‘punitive’ interventions in the market"  
A group representing property owners has said Rent Control “is not the answer” to the State’s housing crisis and called on the Government to provide an “adequate supply of accommodation”.
Irish Property Owners Association Chairman, Stephen Faughnan, was responding to remarks made by Impact General Secretary, Shay Cody at a homelessness conference at the weekend. Mr Cody said leaving rents to the market was driving people into homelessness. “A couple of years ago, the Government decided to put a temporary restriction on the price of beer,” he said. “It shouldn’t be beyond their wit to do the same with rent for a period.”.........

Today the IPOA emailled members saying that Senate by Senator Aideen Hayden in response to our article in the Irish Times 24th September.

The comment bears no resemblance to the  article or to the IPOA Press Release . The Association makes it clear that all rental property should be of a good standard.

As Chairperson of Threshold, the Organisation that considers itself the Tenants champion and who are heavily Government subsidised,  Senator Hayden is no friend of landlords.  Senator Hayden is the person who is leading the introduction of a Deposit Protection Scheme, Rent control or Rent Certainty,  as she may refer to it. She mentions the Unions, SIPTU included, who we understand were the people who demanded the abolition of tax relief on Interest payments.  

It is widely expected that Senator Hayden intends to represent Labour in Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown  area.

Senator Aideen Hayden: Last weekend, Mr. Shay Cody, the General Secretary of IMPACT put out a call for Rent Control to be introduced, equating it to controls that were put in place by previous Governments on the price of a pint, which was an interesting observation. SIPTU has also agreed to support rent controls. I have raised this issue previously and do so again because it is a matter of great urgency which merits a serious debate. Some 2,400 people, all of whom are unique cases, presented as homeless in the Dublin region in the second quarter of this year. We are in a major crisis.

I was disappointed with the response of the Irish Property Owners Association to IMPACT's call. It stated interference in the market, including the decision to eliminate bedsit accommodation, was the reason for the increase in the numbers of people presenting as homeless. I do not know if the IPOA is aware that the vast majority of the bedsit units that were closed down were firetraps which were no better than slum accommodation. If the Association's attitude to the homeless is to suggest they be placed in such accommodation, it is an absolute disgrace Source IPOA

It will be interesting to see what happens next

Monday, 4 August 2014

Car hire article on the risk nasty charges by MD of Blue Insurances

Ciaran Mulligan who is the M­anaging Director of 
Blue Insurances the company that runs  CarHireExcess wrote an article for yesterday's Sunday Independent. "Car hire: wise up or risk nasty charges" informs readers on Ireland's bank holiday weekend about buying car hire excess waiver insurance when you rent a car.

He gives the example of one person "One of our customers recently hired a car for a weekend to attend a wedding in the south of Spain. He initially chose a mid-range car but was persuaded to upgrade to a prestige model as part of a special deal.

Because he had already arranged his own insurance through ourselves, he refused the rental company's offer of car hire excess insurance.

When he returned the car, it was found to have minor damage. He had managed to pick up a tiny stone chip in the windscreen which he thought would be considered wear and tear.

The car hire company disagreed. It said that, because the windscreen was heated, it would deduct the full excess of €1,250 from his credit card. This particular customer was told by the car hire company that the car hire excess insurance he had arranged separately with would not cover him, which wasn't the case. He reclaimed the €1,250 charge from his policy, which cost him just €49 a year.

Car hire excess insurance can be well worth it - but you must shop around. Otherwise, you could pay hundreds of euro more than you need to."  

See the full article Here  Go to the CarHireExcess website here

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Holiday home buying in Ireland

After  several pages in last Thursday's Irish Times International Edition it was just back to one page on it's own in today's paper.

The headline being "Is now the time to buy a holiday home?".

The article went onto explore various areas in Ireland that were popular for holiday home owners and at the moment, despite prices rising very well in areas like Dublin there appear to be plenty of bargains around.

In Wicklow which is only half an hour south of Dublin, the article says "that prices have dropped by as much as 70 per cent in the area, which means that you can now buy a three-bed property in Brittas Bay village for about €150,000, or for between €180,000 and €220,000 in nearby Brittas Bay Park. This is a far cry from the boom years when O’Reilly recalls selling a house in Brittas Bay village for €522,000"  See the article on line Here

So you have bought a holiday home or your already own one and want it to earn its keep?

Since 2001 jml  has been an advertising platform for owners of holiday home accommodation in Ireland (and many other countries). It is still a very low cost way of advertising a holiday home property. Around €15 per year or £12.50 GBP. The advertiser can link the add to their own website and as much detail about the individual property and area as the advertiser wants to add. Together with six photos that can be modified any time, it is still great value. Details can be found here

On the subject of holiday homes and a little  bit further east than Dublin, London England in fact - According to the UK Government's Communities Secretary - Eric Pickles, new measures will end rules preventing London residents from letting out their own homes on short lets. At the moment Londoners who want to rent out their home for less than three months have to apply for planning permission from their local council.

The idea to change the rules is to benefit London's tourism industry by increasing the amount of accommodation available and giving home owners the opportunities to earn some cash when they have gone away. 

In another International holiday destination - Majorca, property prices have risen by sixteen per cent in the last twelve months. Chesterton Humberts have presented an overview of overseas property trends in its spring report. They say that "prices are rising faster on the Spanish island than in some of the prime central London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster".

Insurance for that holiday rental: You need to9make sure that you have the correct insurance for your holiday home or second home property. Difficulties can arise when you contact the local insurance company in Spain or France and all the documentation is in Spanish or French. Insurance terms can be quite complicated in any language, but are you 100% sure that your property is covered for a burst pipe. If your first language is English then the most straightforward way is to use a company that will cover your property and communicates in clear English. Companies like Intasure - Andrew Copeland International - Staysure do this. You can find out more details Here     


Monday, 28 July 2014

Wedding and carhireexcess insurance mentioned in report

Yesterday's personal finance column in the Sunday Independent  had a feature entitled "Make me richer, cuts costs of insurance and car hire"

Starting off  was wedding insurance under a picture of  William and Kate’s wedding  that cost more than €25m to stage in 2011.

The article pointed out that "Most policies cover cancellation in the event of a death/illness of a close relative, or illness of the bride or groom.

You may also be protected if any of your pre-booked wedding suppliers, or the hotel, goes bust, or if your bridal attire is damaged. But read the small print, as policies and the amount they cover vary. Best €39.99 Weddinginsurance ie "

It went on to include, Buggy insurance, House insurance, car insurance naming those that are best and the ones to avoid.

Finally "Hire car excess"- Car hire excess waiver insurance and the  Best was: €20.93 Carhireexcess.comarhireexcess com

View the entire article Here

Blue Insurances who operate the and brands also have a great range of travel, pet insurance and breakdown insurance. Find the entire range Here

Monday, 30 June 2014

Peak holiday season begins for Irish holidmakers renting cars.

Yesterdays Sunday Independent ran a feature "Schoolchildren have just finished up – and so the peak holiday season begins"

Written by Colm Brady who is the business development director with Europcar Ireland it was giving general advice when hiring a car.

Plenty of advice is in the article including -

Fuel problems when hiring a car -
 There are various fuel options available with car rental. Ensure that Pickup Full and Return Full are available for short trips – ignoring this advice could be an expensive mistake .
Some companies allow you to prepay for the fuel at a discount and this means you don't have to worry about refuelling on return. When leaving the airport, take note where the nearest petrol station is when you pass it. Ensure your fuel level is also noted on your rental agreement.
Insurance -

Insurance is another big area where potential problems can arise. Always check what insurance is included in the rate and what excess (the first part of a claim you must pay yourself) is required. Be particularly careful when travelling to the USA or Canada as you need to have collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW) included in the rate. When picking up and dropping off your car, check it for any damage – and make sure this is noted on your rental agreement or damage report.
We suggest you consider buying separate car hire excess insurance. Blue Insurances' is worth looking at find out more here

See all the article Here

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

What has happended to the property section in the international edition of the Irish Times?

The international edition of the Irish Times on a Thursday use to have a property section that was the same or a slightly edited version of the property section in the domestic home market edition of the Irish Times.

The eighteen page supplement on the left did not come from the International edition, but was posted out from Dublin last Thursday.

As a regular reader of the Irish Times on a Thursday for many years now, I have noticed the property section getting thinner.

The second supplement has been filled with technology and media which is very interesting and unfortunately the residential property coverage has diminished.

Last September on this blog I wrote "Irish Times Property Section appears to have gone on a post summer holiday diet"
I was saying that  "The Thursday edition of the Irish Times was delivered as normal last Thursday (5th September 13) and the top right hand banner says "Residential property: 18 pages" 

So I went to the second section and in the 16 page "Business + Technology" pages 7 to 10 has the property feature. I have noticed this year that quite often there are only two or three pages of property in their "International edition".

It is common knowledge that after your summer holiday when you have probably been eating and drinking too much that the ads appear for loosing weight, but why does the Irish Times cut out so many pages now. Some Thursdays it is waiver thin and whereas the TV and radio guide page used to be there it is very rarely there any more."

Anyway more recently "the diet" of The Irish Times property section on the English side of the Irish Sea has got worse.

On the 29th May, I went to the Irish property insurance Twitter page and tweeted that I could not find the property section (or couple of pages) that they were advertising on the front page. 

On the 5th June I tweeted "2 Pages Property in Irish Times UK edition today better than none last week can we have several pages like in main Irish market in future?"

Then last Thursday the 12th June, there was nothing again.

There was a picture on the front page top right hand corner featuring the "A corker in Clonakilty French chateau style for €9m" had there been a section it would have revealed "Fairy tale of west Cork for €9 million"

I went to Twitter again (Left) and decided to email the Irish Times. I got a very nice reply from someone in the editors office saying
" Thank you very much for your email and can I in the first instance apologise for the fact that you were left without the Property section in your copy of today’s Irish Times.

Unfortunately, due to last minute production constraints, it was omitted from the international edition at a very late point during the yesterday’s print run.  It is not something we would like to happen again.

If you would like to send me your postal address, I will send a copy of it to you in the next post.

Again, I am very sorry that you were left disappointed today"
On Saturday the 18 page supplement arrived in the post with a very picturesque Irish Times clock card (above) and a note.
I decided to email them on Monday saying "Many thanks for forwarding on a copy of last Thursday’s Irish edition of the Irish Times property section. 
This is just like it used to be on the UK /International edition, until it got thinner and thinner. It is such a shame that it has been reduced to only a maximum of 4 pages, less or nothing at all these days. The property market has recovered a lot in Ireland thankfully now and although the technology / media section is interesting, the property section must surely appeal to those outside Ireland too.
Would be very nice if one reader’s comments could be taken on board by the editorial team"
Unfortunately have not had a reply yet, but I do hope they take my comments on board. I am not sure if those estate agents who put ads in the paper are under the impression that they are being looked at in the International edition. Unfortunately they are not.

Friday, 13 June 2014 has a very smart new website

I see that Blue Insurances the Dublin and Cardiff based car hire excess waiver insurance company have a very smart upgraded website.

It looks very easy to use and ideal if you are shortly arranging your summer holidays and heading off to some destination where you will be renting a car.

By buying the excess waiver insurance from a company like you can save a lot of money.

The average car hire company will be charging a great deal more than €2.99 a day and if you are likely to be hiring a car more than once this year remember an annual policy really makes sense.

According to the web site " Purchase Car Hire Excess Insurance here from only €2.99 per day for European cover or €3.99 per day for Worldwide cover (which covers you for up to 180 consecutive days for European or Worldwide cover).

If it's an annual policy that you need our great value annual plans start at just €49.99 for European cover or €62.99 for Worldwide cover with unlimited rentals up to 62 days on any one rental. We provide cover for Irish Residents for the excess on their Car Hire Insurance policy.

Most car rental agreements make you liable for the first portion of the repair or replacement costs of the rental vehicle otherwise known as the Excess, which can vary from €100 up to €2,000. covers adults between 21 Years and 84 Years and our policy includes cover for Windows/Glass, Tyres, Wheels, Roof and Undercarriage. In addition, our policy also includes personal possessions and key cover. Our Car Hire Excess Insurance is underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate 5820."  Find out more Here and arrange it today

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Terminal 2 London Heathrow the new landing and take off place for Aer Lingus

After all those years in a somewhat shabby Terminal 1 at London Heathrow Airport, Aer Lingus will be moving it's 44 daily flights from Terminal 1 on July 9th.

As anyone who has travelled to or from Ireland with Aer Lingus at London Heathrow there is a very long walk to and from the aircraft.

As passengers do not go through passport control the arrivals section has been located on the departure level for more years than I can remember. Not the smartest of places to arrive at if you have just flown from Dublin Airport's impressive Terminal 2.

Aer Lingus check in at terminal 1 Heathrow June 14
The new terminal 2 at Heathrow is very smart, however walking around last Sunday afternoon is naturally somewhat lifeless at the moment.

Following on from the problems of the opening of Terminal 5, the airport company decided to move all the airlines in by degrees.

The US airline United was first in last week when the terminal opened.

 According to the plan in the terminal when I  was looking around, the photo to the left is for the Aer Lingus ticket desks.

It will be interesting to see the terminal in action when more of the Star Alliance airlines move in. By the time Aer Lingus moves, Air Canada, Air China and a couple of more will have settled in with the last arriving on the 22nd October this year.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

What will become of the All Hallows College Dublin site?

On the 23rd May All Hallows College, in Drumcondra, Dublin 9 announced "It is with huge regret and deep sadness that All Hallows College today announces its intention to wind down the college.

The college, which is not in receipt of state grants, has been operating at an increasing deficit over many years, and although in recent times it has embarked on a stringent programme of sustainability – including increasing its activities and embarking on an extensive fund-raising programme –  the challenging landscape of today’s third level education arena has led to a diminishing of the college’s reserves to an unsustainable level.

In addition, the option of growing enrolment figures has been constrained by the cap on the numbers of undergraduates eligible for the free fees scheme. The wind down of the college will begin immediately and will be conducted in a phased and orderly fashion."

I have walked our dog past, driven past and gone past on my bike numerous times over the last thirty years on visits to Dublin. I remember one summer on a visit to Dublin actually going into grounds for a summer fete. It is indeed very sad to read about the news of the closure in last week's Irish Times  and the Jackie Kennedy letters, that had they been auctioned would not have raised sufficient funds to keep the college going. 

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern had very close ties with the college with his parents living close by in Church Avenue and he talked about it a great deal in "Bertie Ahern The Autobiography" as his father worked there.

So what could be the future of this site? Many of the similar estates in the area have been knocked down and sold off for house development, others have been converted into apartments and had house and apartment developments established within the boundary walls.

Could the future be a luxury hotel development and golf course?. It is in an ideal setting, in North Dublin, close to the airport, M1 and M50. Somewhere along the line the history of the College must be preserved. Tearing down those fine old buildings and replacing them with a housing development won't do that, the buildings themselves need to remain. 

Maybe the space could be used by another Dublin University or College, but despite the recovery in the country is this the wrong time to embark in such a project. No doubt there will be much debate on what is to become of the site once it finally closes. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens to that landmark set back from the road on Grace Park Road. 


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Tips for renting a car this holiday season from The European Consumer Centre

With half term holidays just a matter of days away, the European Consumer Centre Ireland has issued a press release and warning last Friday - 16th May.

They say that as we go into the busy holiday season, many consumers will be considering hiring a car on holiday. ECC Ireland is therefore encouraging consumers to be vigilant when seeking to hire a car this summer.

Renting a vehicle is a convenient way of getting around during a trip and enables travellers to plan their holiday a little more freely, without having to work around public transport timetables.
 However, it can also be a confusing area for consumers. What is included in the initial quote may not always be clear, and there may be additional charges for extras such as child seats or insurance.
Car rental is a frequent area of complaint in ECC Ireland's case handling. The majority of such complaints relate to supplementary charges imposed by the car rental company. ECC Ireland is therefore encouraging consumers to be vigilant when seeking to hire a car this summer.

There is no specific EU legislation in place that covers this area, but consumers can avail of more general protections set out in directives on unfair commercial practices and unfair terms in consumer contracts.

Consumers are advised to –
  • Carefully check the rental quote for what’s included and what isn’t. There may be extra costs for things such as child seats or an additional driver.
  • It is also a good idea to fully familiarise yourself with the insurance policy and consider taking out additional cover where necessary. Most policies do not cover damage to certain parts of the car, e.g. tyres, windscreen, etc.
  • Make a note of the fuel policy, which may be ‘return tank full’ or ‘return tank empty’. For obvious reasons, the vehicle can’t be returned with a completely empty tank, but the trader may not provide a refund for unused fuel. These policies are best avoided.
  • Ensure you have read and understand the cancellation policy.
  • Familiarise yourself with the rules of the road in the destination country and check if there are any age restrictions.
  • The vehicle should be inspected by a representative of the car rental company when it is picked up by the consumer. The rep should make a note of the condition of the vehicle and any pre-existing marks or damage, and supply a copy of this form to the consumer. If there is no rep available at the time of collection, the consumer should inspect the vehicle themselves and take photos.
  • When the vehicle is returned, it should be inspected again for any damage, and a copy of the form supplied to the consumer. If no rep is available or if the vehicle is returned outside of working hours, consumers should take photos as evidence that it was returned in good condition. Failure to do this could result in supplementary charges for alleged damage to the vehicle, which may prove very difficult for a consumer to challenge.
Consumers can contact ECC Ireland for further advice if they encounter a problem. Please contact Grace Duffy on (01) 8797 641 or at Source ECC Ireland

At the insurance4carrrental excess waiver insurance site and  Car Hire Excess Insurance Blog site we have been stating this information for years now. Naturally people do not always remember such check lists and of course there are numerous people out there who have never hired a car before.

Do take a lot of care and also remember the cheapest car hire company could end up costing you a lot more than you bargained for.

At the Irish Property Insurance Plus site, we are also reminding consumers to take adequate travel insurance. Visit the specialist page at

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Car hire excess insurance mentioned in Irish Independent article last weekend

The Irish Independent had an article on Sunday 4th May -"Don't let your guard down when it comes to planning holidays"

Featuring information on where to park your car at Dublin Airport, it also covered the Car hire excess insurance waiver and Travel insurance subjects. No insurance companies were suggested however.

With Car hire excess insurance Sinead Ryan the article's writer said "Car hire is a great way to get around, but fraught with added expense. If the car is damaged in an accident, you could have to cover the first €1,350 of damage before the car hire company's insurance kicks in – even if you're not at fault for the damage. All car hire companies will insist on credit card bookings to recover this money if they need to"

For Travel insurance - she commented "Travel insurance is a necessary evil, but never go without it. If you have private health insurance, you are covered while abroad, but only for hospitalisation. It won't cover lost bags, delayed flights or dodgy accommodation" See all the article here

Well if you are looking for an Irish  company that can provide Travel Insurance and Car Hire Excess Insurance take a look at what Blue Insurances has to offer. Find out more here  By the way they also offer Pet Insurance, Wedding insurance, Gadget insurance and Breakdown insurance as well.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Irish Property Owners Associations urges members to write to Government about treatment of borrowers by lenders

The IPOA - Irish Property Owners Association has today written to members urging them to write to their local TD and Senator. In an email from

Stephen Faughnan the Chairman of the association said " The treatment by the banks of people in debt is needlessly harsh and unfair.  The banks lent money without due diligence, stress testing and people borrowed in good faith. 

People in debt need fair treatment and Government action is not preventing lenders from taking advantage of people in vulnerable situations, and not ensuring fair treatment. 
Attached is a letter which we would like you to circulate to your national public representatives and any others you may happen to know, ideally in the post and addressed personally to your public representative (both TDs and Senators).  They are the only people who can put the necessary pressure on to reign in the banks.  Now is the perfect time with the Local and European Elections coming up on May 23, along with By-Elections in two constituencies.

We need to support members and people in trouble with the banks.   As a society, we need to stand together on this issue and support our friends, family and neighbours in financial difficulty.  The banks were bailed out by the citizens of this country, but citizens in financial difficulty are being harassed, bullied and not treated fairly.  There needs to be an independent Dispute Resolution Service to ensure fair treatment for both lenders and people in serious debt, without the power of veto given to the lenders by the Government.

Would you please personally support this campaign for fair treatment, and pass on the sample letter and details to all the people on your email address list asking them to help the campaign.  Our country will only begin to prosper when the level of lending debt is dealt with in a humane and fair way. "
If you are a member of the IPOA and have not received this communication suggest you contact them at
In yesterday's Irish Times there was an article by Connor Pope "BOI criticised for 'very blunt' approach to distressed borrowers - Insolvency Service singles out Bank of Ireland for criticism" 

"Bank of Ireland was singled out for criticism by the head of the Insolvency Service of Ireland Lorcan O’Connor at an Oireachtas hearing yesterday for adopting a “very blunt” approach in its dealings with distressed borrowers" See all of this here


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Rent caps are still high on Government agenda

Have received a notification from Irish yesterday. Amongst various headlines was one saying "Minister for Housing Jan O'Sullivan (Labour) is in favour of introducing rent controls in Ireland. This is a system that limits rent increases to some independent indicators, such as the Consumer Price Index.
While various forms of rent control do operate in some other European markets is it really a viable solution to the growing shortage of rental properties? For example would it not be better and more sustainable for the government to invest in social housing, investment that has been lacking for many years.

Is it merely a short term reaction to a problem that needs wider discussion? Will the minister also introduce a cap on mortgage repayments on investments properties? Unlikely!

With the local elections coming up in May and politicians looking for votes now is the time to let your voice be heard!

Another important point highlighted was that of Fire Safety - Increased inspections - As highlighted recently by the Sunday Business Post a significant number of rental properties are failing to meet the required fire safety standards.

With inspections on the increase and fines of €5,000 now is the time to ensure that your property is compliant.
Training Course

There is a One Day Residential Lettings Best Practice Training Course taking place on  Thursday 22nd May 2014

Topics include:Changes to Tenancies Act 2004
Dealing with over-holding
PRTB Case Best Practice

Find out more information Here

Rents on the increase in Ireland
The latest Quarterly Rent Index of the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) covering Quarter 4 of 2013, shows continued strong growth in Dublin.

On an annual basis this means that rents in Dublin grew by 7.6%, comparing Q4 of 2013 to Q4 of 2012.

In contrast, the market outside Dublin was more subdued, with 'outside Dublin' showing an increase of 1.1%, comparing Q4 of 2013 with Q4 of 2012.  Some of the bigger urban areas outside of Dublin (eg Cork and Galway) saw modest increases while in many areas outside of Dublin rents declined.

The Irish rental market experienced a peak to trough decline of 26% between 2007 and 2012. Find out more Here



Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Protest at 1pm on Wednesday 26th February outside Leinster House by Mortgage Holders

Have just received this press release that was issued last week by the IBRC Mortgage Holders sent in by Stephen Faughnan the Chairman of the Irish Property Owners’ Association -IPOA

IBRC Mortgage Holders are holding a peaceful protest outside Leinster House on Wednesday 26th February at 1.00 p.m. We are totally opposed to the proposed sale by KPMG of the former Irish Nationwide (now IBRC) mortgage book to an un-named third party or vulture fund.

We are calling on all mortgage holders, their families and friends to come out next Wednesday and join us in this peaceful protest. We understand Minister Noonan along with KPMG are appearing before the Finance Committee on Wednesday to answer questions on the Liquidation process. Approx. 13,500 Families could potentially lose the protection of the CCMA and the Financial Ombudsman and could be left wide open to interest rate hikes if the proposed sale to an unregulated third party proceeds. We will be joined by David Hall of IMHO who fully supports our cause who stated "This could become a new way of dealing in a very harsh way with distressed mortgage holders.

Many other mortgage books could go this way and this could be an outsourcing of repossession." The issue was first brought to media attention by Denise McCormack from Wexford who says "I took out a mortgage with INBS and I am not at all happy that my mortgage can now be sold off to just anybody. I never agreed to it when i took out my mortgage and I certainly don't agree to it now."
We sincerely hope people will come out and show their solidarity because they could find themselves in a similar position in the future if further loan books are sold by other banks to other such vulture funds.
See their Facebook page for further information about the group

Meanwhile in this morning's Irish Times "Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG appear before the Oireachtas Finance Committee. Around 13,000 people who bought their homes with money they borrowed from the Irish Nationwide fear that they will have no protection if those loans are sold to overseas investors as part of the wind up of IBRC, which took over the building society’s business after the financial crisis. "
"The liquidators said in a statement that they were aware of borrowers’ anxieties and had also noted concerns expressed by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan. “We are pleased that the bidders have voluntarily indicated that if successful, they would direct that the mortgage loans were serviced in accordance with the terms of the CCMA,” their statement added. “We are satisfied that the voluntary nature of this arrangement strikes a fair balance between the interests of mortgage holders as well as interests of the creditors of IBRC.”
Reacting to the news, David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation said that the agreement did not go far enough. “It’s voluntary, it cannot be enforced by the Central Bank or anyone else,” he said, adding that the Code had to be made compulsory for any organisation that buys the loans". Source Irish Times

Monday, 20 January 2014

The co-founder of Irish insurance company Blue Insurances has bought out his business partner

I picked up a report in yesterday's Irish Independent that Ciaran Mulligan the co-founder of Blue Insurances had bought out his partner Rowan Devereux for under the €10 million mark.

The company sells a range of insurance products including travel - car hire excess - pet - wedding and gadget insurance operating from Dublin, Ireland and Cardiff, Wales.

According to the Irish Independent report, Blue Insurances plans to expand into India and the United States.

Full report here

Find out more about Blue Insurance products here

Friday, 3 January 2014

IPOA concerned about Minister for Housing Jan O'Sullivan rent cap proposal

The Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA) issued a press release earlier today saying that theyexpressed concern about the call for a rent cap on private rentals by Minister for Housing Jan O’Sullivan.

The Minister suggested that private rents should be pegged legislatively to the cost of living and that the private rental sector in Ireland was disorganised, unlike some other EU countries.  

But the suggestion was criticised by the IPOA.  “Minister O’Sullivan appears to accept that Ireland is not like other countries in regard to the culture of renting, but she still would like to put a legislative noose on the free market,” said IPOA Chairman, Stephen Faughnan.  “She drew a comparison with a number of countries, including Germany and France, which she said had an organised private rental sector.  But the reality is that in Germany and France, taxation policies on rental income are much more benign than in Ireland.”  

A recent survey by the International Union of Property Owners, to which the IPOA is affiliated, showed that in France, rental income has tax rates of up to 45%, with the higher rate only kicking in where net profit is over €150,000, compared top €32,800 in Ireland.  “Even Germany’s top rate of 45% does not come in until the net profit is €250,730,” noted Mr. Faughnan.  “An organised property sector, as suggested by the Minister, requires a more benign Government and Revenue policy so that landlords are able to properly earn their living in the same way as any other  business people.  While the IPOA have reservations about a rent cap at this point in time, I am pleased that Minister O’Sullivan accepts the proposition that operating as a landlord is a business and should be treated as such in Government tax policy.”

The IPOA also noted that rent control, which was in place up to the early 1980s, was responsible for much property dereliction at that time as landlords were unable to fund the quite significant cost of renovation, which would never be recovered in a rent control situation.  “Do we want to return to the often squalid conditions which then existed?” said Mr. Faughnan.  “The abolition of rent control, following a successful  constitutional challenge, paved the way for private rental property to be of significantly better quality, and allowed landlords to earn a reasonable living from their letting business.”   He added: “Today’s landlord is not the same as yesterday’s.  Most landlords act responsibly in their obligations to tenants and need to be treated fairly by the State as they are providing good quality homes for almost a quarter of the population.”

The IPOA spoke on Newstalk Radio at lunchtime today against the introduction of a rental cap.  Source IPOA

Landlords hit out at minister’s plan to link private rents to cost of living

An organisation of landlords has raised concern over a proposal by Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan that a law be introduced to cap private rentals.

Acknowledging that the rental sector is disorganised, Ms O’Sullivan said private rents should be pegged to the cost of living, a suggestion that has drawn the wrath of the Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA). Full report Here