Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Questions (114)

Robert Dowds

Question:

129 Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the legal obligations landlords are under to ensure the outward appearance of their properties are maintained. [7853/11]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Environment)

Minimum standards for rental accommodation are prescribed in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008, made under section 18 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992. These Regulations were further amended by the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses)(Amendment) Regulations 2009 which expanded the definition of ‘a proper state of structural repair' to allow for all aspects of the internal and external appearance of a dwelling to be taken into account for the purposes of the Regulations.

All landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that their rented properties comply with these Regulations. Responsibility for enforcing the Regulations rests with the relevant local authority, supported by a dedicated stream of funding allocated by my Department. It is a matter for each individual local authority to decide the specific details of its enforcement strategy and inspection arrangements. However, in discharging their responsibilities in relation to the rental sector, authorities have been asked to have regard to the Good Practice Guidelines for Local Authorities on Standards in the Private Rented Sector: Strategic Planning, Effective Enforcement published by the Centre for Housing Research in November 2007, which make a range of recommendations on relevant issues, including targeting inspection activities.