1 in 5 Rental Properties Still not Meeting Legal Standards

10th November, 2008

“Issue has not been taken seriously” says Senator Paschal Donohoe.

Figures obtained by Senator Paschal Donohoe, Dublin Central show that 1 in 5 rental properties are still not meeting minimum legal standards. Figures provided by the Department of Environment for 2007 show that out of 12,047 properties inspected Irish local authorities, 2379 are not meeting the mimumum standards. Senator Donohoe also noted that out of the 2,379 problem properties, 1,349 of them were located in Dublin City Council area.

“The figures indicate that there are no problem properties in Laois, Letrim, Louth, Meath and Waterford. It is clear from this that the problem of poor quality rental accomodation is not been taken seriously by everybody” said Senator Donohoe. ” This is a huge problem in cities throughout Ireland where a small number of badly maintained rental properties are causing misery to their tenants and big problems for neighbours”.

Senator Donohoe also questioned the commitment of local authorities in tackling this problem. He pointed to the fact that only 25 legal cases were taken in all of Ireland in 2007 against landlords who failed to meet minimum standards. Of these 25 cases, 24 of them were taken by Dublin City Council. The only other local authority who took legal action was Kildare County Council. ” Hardly any other local authority in the country took legal action against a landlord. That there was not a need to do this is simply unbelievable given the size of this problem in our towns and cities”. He also pointed to the inconsistency among local authorities in taking action on problem properties.

He pointed to the fact that many of these properties are receiving government funding through both the Rental Suplement Scheme and the Rental Accomodation Scheme. “This is not just a matter of money.It is a matter of will. Local authorities must be more serious in tackling this problem. New rental regulations will be issued by the end of this year and it is vital that city and county councils implement them well. Tax payer’s money is been spent on many of these properties so it is crucial that this job be done better” according to Senator Donohoe.