THE landlords of Ireland, considered by themselves to be among the hardest hit by the Coronavirus, needed a win. They needed guidance. They needed assurance. And they needed to know there was a light at the end of the tunnel. And with one impassioned 15-minute speech from the Landlords Association Of Ireland, they got it.
“We must remember that even during the darkest times of famine and recession, we were not called upon to be anything less than what we are” said Derek Heggerton, president of the LAI speaking directly to members across the country via Skype yesterday.
“Many of you have asked me if the government is going to force us to give up some of our rental income over the coming months. The answer is, we just don’t know. But what we do know is this; we can apply for a suspension of our mortgages and not pass it on to our tenants. That is one thing we can do. So far, all they’ve said is that they ‘expect’ us to do the right thing, but A Chairde, we all know what to say to that!”
To a flood of virtual cheers washing over the livestream, Heggerton went on to outline the difficulties that faced the sector in the coming months.
“Evicting a doctor or a nurse; that’s not going to look good in June” admitted Heggerton.
“But we have to make sure that we remember that the country will be in uproar at that stage anyway, and we should be able to evict anyone. Nurses, doctors, recovering Covid-19 patients, the elderly, people with families; we managed it in the recession, and we can manage it again.
“Not all super villains have cats, my friends. Some of us just made smart investments at the right time, and some of us just inherited our parents houses after they died and see no sense in not getting a decent return on them. Through thick and thin, better or worse, richer and slightly not as rich, we landlords will prevail!”