Figures reveal non-compliance in standards of private rented accommodation in Kilkenny
Councillors have expressed their “absolute shock” at the figures published in today’s Kilkenny People on non-compliance in standards of private rented accommodation.
Cllr Andrew McGuinness said: “I find these figures very worrying. The fact that 496 dwellings inspected last year due to complaints were deemed to be non-compliant is absolutely shocking.
“Those figures should never be that high. The fact that the Council’s response puts it down to the ‘methodology applied by each of the local authorities’ in my view, is just not good enough and is unacceptable.
“Likewise, if landlords are not ensuring their properties are up to standard, that too is unacceptable. 496 private rental dwellings inspected by the Council were deemed non-compliant. If that is the fault of the landlord or simply down to the Council’s ‘methodology’ the result is still the same.”
Cllr Patrick McKee said: “Inspections are not being carried out in some cases until 12 months after the tenant takes up occupation, sometimes it is much longer.
“I believe that from the information which has been released it would seem that we are not effectively discharging our responsibilities under the relevant Housing Acts.
“Whilst the majority of landlords are good law abiding citizens whom care for tenants, we need random inspections to ensure landlords who are receiving public monies are satisfying their responsibilities and that tenants are protected.
“We shouldn’t be waiting for a complaint. We should be proactively inspecting dwellings. It is important to say that our housing section is under-resourced and under-staffed. I have been pointing this issue out for a number of years and no action has been taken.
“The Government needs to provide more resources to ensure the council can discharge their responsibilities. But at the end of the day, those responsibilities exist and they lie with Kilkenny County Council. The information which the Kilkenny People has obtained is concerning to say the least.”
Local authorities can issue Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices to landlords who breach the minimum standards regulations.