Fine Gael councillor didn’t declare ownership of company with 13 rental properties

Fine Gael councillor Ted Leddy failed to declare his ownership of 13 rental properties in Cavan and Dublin.

The Dublin West representative and close friend of constituency colleague Leo Varadkar also failed to declare his stake in the family company that owns these properties. The firm recently advertised a two-bedroom flat in Cavan town for more than €1,000 a month.

Leddy did however declare his directorship of the company and when told he hadn’t declared his ownership of the properties or the company said, “I did actually,” adding, “I haven’t even the slightest doubt in my mind.”

Councillors who don’t declare their shareholdings and property holdings face up to two years’ imprisonment under ethics legislation.

HAP rate = €490. Leddy’s company charges €1,200

Ted Leddy became a director and 20 percent shareholder of Lotive Ltd in August 2021. Established in October 2018, the company boasts a property portfolio worth €1,247,250, according to its 2021 accounts.

Lotive’s latest accounts say its principal activity is the “ownership and rental of residential property”. It’s the registered owner of 13 residential properties and two retail units, according to Land Registry records.

These include 11 flats in Cavan town and two apartments in Dublin’s city centre. Twelve of the residential properties have tenancies registered with the RTB.

Last month the company, which is headquartered close to Leddy’s Dublin 15 home, advertised a two-bedroom flat on Cavan Main Street for €1,200 a month rent, describing the fee as a “great price”. The maximum standard Housing Assistance Payment rate in the county is €490 a month.

When asked whether he thinks the rent is appropriate, Leddy said, “I’ve very little involvement in the running of (the company),” adding, “I’ve no idea what the market rent is in Cavan. I’ve no idea.”

Leddy also said he’s never gained rental income from the company, saying he’s “never got any money out of it”.

In February this year Leddy submitted his annual ethics declaration to Fingal County Council (FCC) for 2021.

He left the sections of the form concerning land and shares in companies dealing with land blank. He didn’t list his ownership of the 13 rental properties. Though he did declare his directorship, he named the company "Loctive Property" rather than its correct name, Lotive Ltd.

Under section 175 of the Local Government Act 2001, councillors are required to declare property interests and shares worth more than €12,700 held at any time in the relevant period. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

Previously a parliamentary secretary to Leo Varadkar, Leddy was first elected to FCC’s Castleknock ward in 2014 and retained his seat at the 2019 local elections. Last year he was forced to apologise for what he described as “insensitive and inappropriate tweets”.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors