Editorial: Private rental inspection concerns in Kilkenny

This week's editorial

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

File photo

File photo

There needs to be random inspections of private rental accommodation in Kilkenny in the wake of the figures published in this week’s paper.

A Freedom of Information request revealed inspection figures - provided by the Council - showed a 100% level of non-compliance from the properties inspected as a result of complaints to the local authority.

The information also stated the “most common reasons for non-compliance” were submission of electrical/gas certs; ventilation; smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

The minimum standards not being met are very serious safety issues. Private rental tenants in Kilkenny need to be reassured that the properties they’re living in are being kept to the highest standards.

The fact that there were 496 non-compliant dwellings out of a total of 496 inspected last year is not going to fill tenants with confidence.

While the number of inspections almost doubled between 2016 and 2017, it is important to note that this just saw the non-compliance levels double.

All of the 249 dwellings inspected in 2016 were also non-compliant with housing standards. The other concern for tenants is the fact that there were no random inspections by the local authority.

The Government at the beginning of last year pledged to strengthen the inspection capacity of local authorities and to increase the frequency with the ambition that by 2021 there will be 25% of rental properties inspected every year.

Our report off the back of the FOI request shows that we need more random inspections in Kilkenny.

Tenants should take note of the timelines of the Government’s pledge; it might be a long wait before the tenants’ properties are given an unsolicited inspection by Kilkenny’s local authority.

Tenants should have a knowledge of potential safety issues along with their rights.

If people feel that their rental property is not up to standard, make a complaint now.