€87m of taxpayers’ money going towards illegal accommodation- Donohoe

1st November, 2009

€461m being paid in rent supplement with nearly 1 in 5 properties substandard


Evidence that nearly one in five rental properties are not meeting minimum legal standards means that €87 million is being spent in rent supplement payments on substandard accommodation, Fine Gael Senator, Paschal Donohoe, revealed today (Sunday).


“Recent statistics I obtained from the Department of Environment showed that 19% of all inspected rental properties nationwide are not meeting the minimum legal requirements. The Government is due to pay €461 million this year in rent supplement to an estimated 74,000 people and given that nearly one in five rental properties are legally below standard this means that €87 million is being spent subsidising illegal accommodation.


“Rogue landlords are causing misery to their tenants and to residents living near their property. The fact that rent for sub-standard accommodation is been subsidised by the taxpayer is wrong and represents very bad value for money. I recently highlighted the fact that one in three rental properties in Dublin did not meet minimum standards last year. It is completely unreasonable that the tax payer been asked to support this.


“More must be done to tackle this problem for the sake of tenants and to ensure that more is delivered when more than €400 million of taxpayers’ money is being spent. Firstly, the HSE and the Department of Environment must ensure that adequate enforcement personnel are in place to implement the revised rental standards. Secondly, revenue raised in rental fines should be reinvested into local authorities to ensure that each one has adequate resources to tackle this issue. Thirdly, guidelines must be continually reviewed so that they reflect the reality of the current rental market.”