Focus Ireland has come out in support of landlords with a set of proposals for tax breaks to make letting homes more lucrative at small-scale.

The homeless charity has published a briefing paper with Chartered Accountants Ireland calling for a doubling of tax relief on wear-and-tear, 100pc capital allowances for retrofitting and generous inheritance exemptions for small landlords.

It says such targeted measures – together with many others outlined in the document – would keep small landlords in the private rented market and help to ease the housing crisis.

“One of the biggest causes for families becoming homeless in recent times is that they are losing their homes in the private rented market as landlords are selling up and leaving the market,” said Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan.

“Urgent policy responses are required which should be targeted at landlords who are considering evicting their tenants to sell over the next number of years, convincing them it is in their interest to stay, or not to evict when they are selling.”

The two organisations, which typically do not collaborate with each other, said they agreed with long-term Government objectives to deliver more social, affordable and cost-rental housing.

However, they believe the large-scale departure of private landlords presented a short-term challenge that needed to be addressed.

The joint paper echoes calls from Property Industry Ireland to make it more financially rewarding for those with smaller property holdings.

Other measures the groups advocated in the briefing document include taxing individual landlords at the same 25pc rate as corporate landlords, expanding the scope of tax deductions from rental income (including local property tax) and applying capital gains tax relief on the sale of rental properties with tenants in situ.

If adopted, the changes could roughly double the earnings of landlords who are currently being taxed at the highest individual rate for their rental income.

The intervention follows last week’s report by the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), which recommended the Government consider further action to improve the tax treatment of landlords.

Source: John Ihle, Irish Independent.

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