Written Answers. - Private Rented Accommodation.

Seán Haughey

Question:

144 Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for the Environment the steps, if any, he has taken to improve standards of private rented accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1747/96]

The Housing (Standard for Rented Houses) Regulations, 1993, which came into operation for private rented dwellings on 1 January 1994, obliged the landlords of such dwellings, with some exceptions, to ensure that they comply with certain minimum standards relating to structural condition, provision of sinks, toilets, baths-showers, safety of electricity and gas installations, availability of adequate heating, lighting and ventilation, maintenance of common areas, etc. Enforcement of these regulations is the responsibility of the local authority for the area in which a rented dwelling is located.

Regulations which I propose to make shortly will provide for the registration of private rented dwellings and will entail payment of an annual fee for each dwelling. These fees will provide resources to authorities to assist them in the enforcement generally of the code of regulations applicable to the private rented sector.