Calls for NCTs for landlords over non-compliant housing standards in Kilkenny

Minimum standards must be adhered to, says charity

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny Kilkenny Kilkenny

The Kilkenny People previously revealed that 100% of private rented properties inspected by Kilkenny County Council last year were found to be “non-compliant with standards regulations”.

A housing charity has called for an “NCT-type certification system” for private rented housing, after it emerged that all 496 rental dwellings inspected by Kilkenny County Council in 2017 due to complaints were found to be non-compliant.

Threshold chief executive, John-Mark McCafferty said: “Sub-standard accommodation is one of the most common complaints that Threshold deals with every day.

“Many of our clients throughout the country are living in properties lacking in necessities, such as heating or hot and cold running water, or are plagued with damp and mould.”

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

“Threshold has been calling for a certification system to replace the existing inspection and enforcement system,” said Mr McCafferty.

“This would, in effect, operate like an NCT for private rented housing. A landlord would not be allowed to rent a property unless it met minimum legal standards and he or she held a certificate confirming this.

“While housing supply and affordability are key concerns for Government, this cannot be at the expense of minimum standards in private rented housing.

“Local government must ensure minimum standards are strictly adhered to, and that there are consequences for landlords who do not adhere to these standards.

“It is important that they not only investigate complaints regarding standards in private rented properties, but also proactively carry out inspections.”

In a statement on the figures, the Council said: “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.