- Increased tax relief for renters must be better promoted
- Tax relief for landlords needs to translate into improved security of tenure
Tuesday, October 10, 2023: The increase and expansion of the rent tax credit announced in today’s Budget has been welcomed by Threshold, the national housing agency, and must form part of a wider cohesive approach to end the housing supply crisis. While the tax relief for landlords requires those availing of it to remain in the market for at least four years, Threshold had advocated to increase security of tenure through a sliding scale system to tax rental income. Threshold is disappointed that this opportunity to increase security for renters was not adopted.
An increase in private renters’ tax relief from €500 to €750 is a progressive step, according to the charity, but this measure needs to be promoted widely among relevant target audiences via a public information campaign and more easily available in terms of claiming it by renters whose landlord has not registered the tenancy. The specific details are yet to be seen on how the credit for students in “digs” can be claimed.
Threshold CEO John Mark McCafferty said that while the measures that were announced to help private renters will be of some benefit, there is still a long road ahead in terms of tackling soaring rents, the major dearth in rented accommodation and poor standards in some rental accommodation:
“Rents have increased dramatically in the last decade, and too many people are spending too much of their income on housing costs. While the increase in the rent credit to €750 is welcome, only an increased supply in affordable housing, across social, cost rental, private rental and for purchase, will see renting become more affordable and secure.
“While we anticipated changes to the taxation of rental income, we made it clear this would need to be a targeted measure done in exchange for increased security of tenure, otherwise it has the potential to be a deadweight cost to the State. As currently designed, it will remain to be seen if the tax relief measure for small landlords incentivises more of them to stay in the market or not – and provide increased security for renters – and that is something that needs to be closely monitored.
“We strongly believe that housing is a right and urge the Government to publish the report from the Housing Commission and make way for a referendum on housing. A right to housing will move government policy more toward treating it as an essential piece of social infrastructure. It will bring us back to valuing houses as homes and realise the delivery of social, affordable and cost-rental housing, as committed to by Government. This will in time bring us out of this enduring housing crisis and prevent such a crisis occurring again. ”
Anyone who with queries about this new Budget measure or concerns about their rights as a tenant can contact Threshold via webchat by visiting www.threshold.ie or confidentially call our expert service advisors, freephone on 1800 454 454.