VPO properties are a form of social housing. They are offered by the government at prices that the government sets, and their purchase comes with certain terms and conditions, one of them to do with letting.

An inspection has so far found that there are infringements at almost a half of these properties. The government plans inspecting over 400 out of the total of 2,269. A quarter of these (104) have been inspected, and fifty have irregularities for illegal renting.

The legislation governing VPO properties is clear enough. They are for habitual residential use. They cannot be rented out unless there is express permission. For the properties which have been inspected there has been no permission. Furthermore, where properties have been rented out - principally to tourists - the necessary deposits have not been banked.

Permissions are normally only ever given in exceptional circumstances, e.g. someone has to move away for work and is allowed to rent out. And where these permissions are granted, the rent charged is subject to government rules in the same way as the price of the property.

In the most serious cases, owners could be fined 90,000 euros or indeed the lose the property.