Both landlords and renters will be given tax relief in the upcoming budget, the Tánaiste has said.
Speaking in Balbriggan, north Dublin, Leo Varadkar said measures must be taken to stop the exit of landlords from the rental sector after a Daft.ie report showed a record low number of available properties.
However, Mr Varadkar said any such moves would come with tax relief for renters.
“I know it may not be popular to say so but the truth is more and more landlords every day are just selling up and have decided that it’s easier to sell their property than to continue to rent it and we just need to reflect on that and see what we can do to improve things," Mr Varadkar said.
"It wouldn’t be fair to say that we’re going to give tax concessions to landlords in order to keep them renting, which would be a good thing, but then to say to renters there is nothing there for them, that wouldn’t be fair.”
Mr Varadkar added that any proposal to make landlords pass on savings made from tax relief would be difficult to administer.
“And that’s actually really important when it comes to tax and welfare — that whatever you do, is actually possible and efficient to administer. There are different things you could do. But I think if you had a tax break for landlords, and that was conditional on them passing on some of that to renter, I’d be concerned that wouldn’t work.
"The objective should be that if we do anything in the tax base to help landlords, well something has to be done for renters as well."
Mr Varadkar accepted it was "difficult" for renters to find a place to live at the moment, but said the Daft report was "not an official statistic".
Chief executive of Threshold John Mark McCafferty said the Daft report underlined the need for next month's budget to give some relief to renters.
“Threshold hopes to see enhanced supports for renters in the forthcoming budget, as well as tax changes for landlords which are linked to improved security of tenure for tenants and their families," he said.