Residential property company Ires Reit, which is the state’s biggest landlord, has recorded only a marginal fall in monthly rent collections in the first six months of this year, despite the impact of COVID-19 measures.
In its first-half results, the company reported that its net rental income had risen by more than 30% from a year earlier to €29.6 million, helped by acquisitions. It now has 3,739 units for rental, up 35%.
Ires Reit said it implemented a pause on rent increases and termination notices during the period, in line with measures introduced by the Government in relation to the rental sector.
The emergency legislation was initially due to run for 90 days until 27 June but was later extended until 1 August, when new legislation was introduced to provide for a freeze on rent increases to January 2021.
Despite this, the company collected 98.4% of monthly rent. “While this is marginally lower compared to the rent collections in previous years it represents a very strong outturn under the current exceptional conditions,” Ires Reit said.
Its occupancy rate was also high at 98.9%, and the company says rental demand has remained strong.
The total value of its portfolio fell slightly, however, mainly due to lower forecasted rental income in the short term, impacted by vacancy and bad debt due to the pandemic.
Chief executive Margaret Sweeney said that while social and economic uncertainty was likely to continue due to COVID-19, continuing supply constraints and “resilient” demand for housing would underpin the company’s performance for the rest of the year.