All private rental inspections in Kilkenny found dwellings to be 'non-compliant' with housing standards

Darren Hassett writes that the 496 private dwellings inspected last year were non-compliant but local authority says it’s a cert issue

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

 The figures provided revealed that zero private rented dwellings in Kilkenny were inspected not arising from complaints both in 2016 and 2017

The figures provided revealed that zero private rented dwellings in Kilkenny were inspected not arising from complaints both in 2016 and 2017

New figures have revealed 100% of private rented properties inspected by Kilkenny County Council last year were found to be “non-compliant with standards regulations”.

The data was obtained following a Freedom of Information request which sought the number of dwellings found to be non-compliant with the regulations for standards in private rented accommodation.

The Council revealed there were a total of 496 dwellings inspected last year due to complaints arising and 100% of these homes were found to be non-compliant.

There were also 249 inspections in 2016 and all 249 of these properties were also found to be non-compliant.

The local authority was asked how many of the properties were inspected proactively; that is not arising from complaints or concerns raised with the Council, nor because of the Council’s responsibility to inspect private rented properties under the Housing Assistance Payment and Rental Accommodation Scheme.

The figures provided revealed that zero dwellings were inspected not arising from complaints both in 2016 and 2017.

Meanwhile follow up inspection figures totaled 705 in 2017 and 165 in 2016 with three improvement notices issued last year and four in 2016.

The most common reasons for non compliance were submission of electrical/gas certs; ventilation and smoke alarms/carbon monoxide alarms.

There have been no prosecutions brought by the Council in respect of non compliance.

In a statement on the figures, the Council said: “To comment on the private rented statistics one must first understand the methodology applied by each of the local authorities.

"In Kilkenny’s case the reason ALL properties were deemed non-compliant was because of our procedure in-house that deemed a property non-compliant until certification of electrical standards in the property and certification for servicing of gas/oil systems.

“Going forward we now request Electro Technical Council of Ireland and boiler and gas certs at initial contact stage with landlord.

“This allows landlords the opportunity to have certs available at inspection.”

Local authorities are responsible for enforcing minimum standards as set out in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017 and this includes the inspection of properties.

Minimum standards include: the landlord must ensure that all gas, oil and electricity installations are maintained in good repair, and safe working order and that every room has adequate ventilation.

If you are a tenant and you think your accommodation is not up to standard, you can contact your local authority.