I propose to take Questions Nos. 73, 101 and 111 together.
I thank the Deputies for their questions. There are approximately 340,000 tenancies registered with the Residential Tenancies Board, RTB, of which approximately 310,000 are private rented tenancies. The majority of landlords, just over 70%, own just one property, with a further 16% owning just two properties. Almost 86% of the registered rental housing stock is owned by landlords with fewer than ten properties, reflecting the fact that the overall proportion of the rental stock held by institutional investors is relatively low.
Historically, the private rented sector in Ireland has been largely made up of small-scale landlords, who will continue to provide the bulk of private rented accommodation. However, a more diverse sector, which includes institutional investors specialised in providing and managing rented residential property on a larger scale, provides additional stability and less exposure to property market risk and volatility. Institutional investors can also help provide the range of tenancy options that households need across their lifecycles. The fact that institutional investors are entering the rental market, with a clear long-term focus on their investment, provides security for tenants who can be confident that their landlord is committed for the long run.
It is important to recognise the positive effects that institutional investment can have in terms of the supply of housing, not least given the scale of housing development envisaged under the national planning framework over the period to 2040, particularly apartment developments in the main urban centres. It is worth noting that a recent report on institutional investment from the Department of Finance clearly points to the benefits of professionalising the sector, realising economies of scale, and a resultant improvement in regulatory and taxation compliance standards.
That report also notes that it would not be correct to assume that the properties being bought by institutional investors would otherwise have been bought by first-time buyers, with the suggestion being made that much of the stock would likely have been purchased by buy-to-let investors with access to equity, either through their household or business wealth.
I am committed to improving security of tenure of tenants and I have brought forward additional measures in this regard for Committee Stage of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2018, scheduled for later this week. These include providing new powers to the RTB to investigate and sanction landlords who engage in improper conduct, including non-compliance with the rent increase restrictions in rental pressure zones, which are the areas where institutional investment tends to be concentrated.
The legislation will allow the RTB to initiate an investigation without the need for a complaint to be made. It will also require the annual registration of tenancies with the RTB and significantly extend the notice periods for tenancy terminations by landlords. The annual registration of tenancies will provide improved data on the profile of landlords in the market, including institutional landlords and will be of benefit to my Department in keeping the market under review, ensuring that we facilitate the positive impacts of institutional investment, while addressing any broader issues that may arise.