RTE is reporting that Ireland's largest private landlord, I-RES REIT, made €19million in profit for the first six months of the year on a portfolio of 2,678 rental properties.
This equates to a profit in excess of €7,000 for each property for six months or almost €1,200 profit per property per month.
Over the past number of years I-RES REIT has been buying up property all over Dublin, including large numbers of apartments and other property from NAMA at knockdown prices.
At a time when there is a massive housing crisis and spiraling rents it is obscene that a private landlord is able to accumulate such vast profits out of the exploitation of working class people in need of a home.
Taking these properties into public ownership would immediately allow for a dramatic reduction in rents - as well as providing ongoing funds to build new social housing.
The scale of the crisis is demonstrated by the fact that the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has recently stated the state is currently spending double in subsidies for renting individual properties in many parts of the country than it would cost to build new homes. The state is currently paying up to €1,950 per month in HAP payments to families at risk of homelessness in the private rental sector - and is subsidising private landlords to the tune of €300million this year.
While a major expansion of social housing is needed - one measure that would immediately alleviate the spiraling rent crisis would be taking landlord portfolios into public ownership. Landlords constantly whinge that renting property is not profitable and is too much hassle - if that is the case they shouldn't have any issue with these properties being taken into public ownership and thereby alleviating their discomfort.