Monday 21 August 2017

NCT-style inspection test for rental properties to improve accommodation standards

The party also wants to increase the height of Dublin's skyline Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images
The party also wants to increase the height of Dublin's skyline Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Fianna Fail wants to introduce an NCT-style inspection system for landlords as part of an attempt to improve rental accommodation standards.

The party also wants to increase the height of Dublin's skyline by allowing developers to build new high-rise apartment complexes in the city centre.

The proposals are contained in a briefing document presented to Fianna Fail members by the party's housing spokesman Barry Cowen at a recent election preparation meeting in Dublin.

In the internal report, seen by the Sunday Independent, it is proposed that banks should be legally obliged to offer the mortgage-to-rent scheme to distressed homeowners.

New legislation aimed at protecting homeowners from vulture funds operating "above the law" is also proposed.

The party wants to set the maximum height for apartment complexes in the capital at 28 metres, which is four metres higher than the current restriction.

The proposal is aimed at addressing the worsening housing crisis in Dublin by creating more rental accommodation in the city.

Fianna Fail's NCT-style system for landlords would see all rental properties inspected before going on the market.

Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen Picture: Tom Burke
Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen Picture: Tom Burke

The party's report said: "Only 10pc of rental units are inspected by local authorities. We believe that, with our proposed new NCT system, all newly registered tenancies can be inspected as well as a higher proportion of existing tenancies."

Mr Cowen also wants to create a one-stop shop in local authorities to streamline applications to convert vacant properties into residential housing.

In his report, the Offaly TD said fire safety, disability and building control regulations make it "virtually impossible" to convert older buildings into residential properties.

He also wants to remove barriers which are preventing social housing being constructed.

Sunday Independent

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