Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Questions (589)

Jan O'Sullivan


589. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the money transfers made from the Residential Tenancies Board to local authorities to fund inspections of privately rented properties; if the amount transferred to each local authority relates to the number of properties registered with the board in each local authority's administrative area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21249/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

Section 176 of the Residential Tenancies Act provides that fees received by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) under the Act shall be paid into, or disposed of for the benefit of, the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister may direct. By various Ministerial Directions since 2005, a percentage of fees received by the RTB under the Act has been allocated for transfer to local authorities for the purpose of the performance of their functions under the Housing Acts in relation to private rented accommodation, including rental standards inspections.

Since 1 July 2016, the RTB retains the entirety of fees received under the Act to defray its costs; however, sufficient surplus funds were available to continue support for local authority inspections of rental accommodation until the end of 2017. Since establishment of the RTB, over €34 million has been paid to local authorities to assist them in performance of their functions under the Housing Acts, including inspections of rented accommodation, and over 185,000 inspections have been carried out.

Each local authority has been responsible for setting targets and conducting related inspections. My Department has recently written to all Local Authority Chief Executives, requesting implementation plans showing how they plan to increase inspection figures in the short, medium and long term with the objective to achieve the target by 2021 of inspecting 25% of all rental properties annually. I have secured €2.5m in Exchequer funding in 2018 to facilitate the increased inspections planned for this year on the path towards the 2021 objective.