Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2982)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

2982. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on the fact that around 90% of rental homes in rent pressure zones failed to meet the 2017 minimum housing standards according to a recent media report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34511/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Strategy for the Rental Sector, published in December 2016, set out a series of measures to be introduced to ensure the quality of private rental accommodation by strengthening the applicable standards and improving the inspection and enforcement systems. The Strategy acknowledged the overall low rates of inspection of the private rental stock and low rates of compliance, as well as the need for greater consistency in approach to implementation of the regulations across local authorities.

The Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019 specify requirements in relation to a range of matters, such as structural repair, sanitary facilities, heating, ventilation, natural light and safety of gas, oil and electrical supply. My Department also published a guidance document to assist and support local authorities in implementing these Regulations.

All landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that their rented properties comply with these regulations and responsibility for the enforcement of the Regulations rests with the relevant local authority.

The Rental Strategy recognises the need for additional resources to be provided to local authorities to aid increased inspections of properties and ensure greater compliance with the Regulations. Provision has been made for €4.5 million of Exchequer funding to be made available to local authorities in 2019 for this purpose, with the intention of providing further increases each year in the period to 2021 to facilitate a targeted inspection coverage of 25% of rental properties annually at that stage.

Detailed information in relation to inspections carried out by each Local Authority since 2005 is available on my Department's website at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/statistics/house-building-and-private-rented/private-housing-market-statistics