2,854 rental properties are substandard but only 8 rogue landlords prosecuted last year – Donohoe

14th July, 2009

19% of rental accommodation not meeting standards still landlords walk free while tenants pay the price

Information obtained by Fine Gael Senator Paschal Donohoe from the Department of Environment, in the form of a Parliamentary Question, indicate that of the 14,880 rental properties inspected in 2008, 2,854 did not meet the minimum standards yet only eight prosecutions were taken against landlords for supplying substandard accommodation. These prosecutions are down from 36 in 2006 and represent a very worrying decrease of 78% from that year.

“A small but substantial group of rogue landlords are breaking the law by renting properties that do not meet rental standards. I have consistently campaigned on this issue as I know these properties are ruining the lives of tenants and residents. These figures show that very few prosecutions are being made against those responsible the length and breadth of the country. Of even greater concern is the decline in the number of prosecutions since 2006.

* Department of Environment Figures

“That the number of inspections is up is to be welcomed. However the lack of prosecutions against rogue landlords shows that these inspections are not leading to tough action to end abuses in the rental sector. The increase in fines proposed in the new Housing Bill of 2008 will help but only if the law is actually implemented. The lack of prosecutions last year shows that this will not happen and the Department of the Environment must work with local authorities to tackle this problem immediately.”