Thursday 29 September 2016

Nearly 75pc of rented homes inspected in Dublin 'not fit to live in'

David Kearns

Published 15/05/2015 | 12:55

Some 3,427 homes were inspected by the DCC in 2014
Some 3,427 homes were inspected by the DCC in 2014

Thousands of properties in the capital are not fit for habitation, according to figures by Dublin City Council which show that 73 pc of rented accommodation in 2014 failed inspection.

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Responding to a request by Independent.ie, Dublin City Council found that of the 3427 ‘dwellings’ it inspected, only 924 passed the “regulatory requirements” needed to allow the property to be rented.

A total of 7,274 inspections were carried out on 3,427 homes in 2014, as part of two programmes to ensure that rented accommodation in Dublin City meets the minimum living standards laid down in the 2008 and 2009 ‘Standards for Rented Houses’ regulations.

These acts cover structural condition, sanitary, heating facilities, food preparation areas, storage and laundry, ventilation, lighting, fire safety, refuse facilities, and electricity and gas. 

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Of the dwellings inspected, 1542 were carried out by Environmental Health (EH) teams responding to complaints by tenants, and undertaking inspections of properties considered for the Rental Accommodation Scheme.

Under the scheme local authorities draw up contracts with landlords to provide housing for people with a long-term housing need and who are in receipt of Rent Supplement.

The remaining 1885 inspections were carried out as part of the Intensified Inspection Programme (IIP), which seeks to undertake proactive inspections in areas of Dublin City where there are high concentrations of properties commonly referred to as “pre-63 multi unit buildings”.

Pre-63 means the property has been continuously let out since 1963, which is prior to the building regulations.

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The IIP is a three-year push on the part of the DCC to bring some of the lowest quality accommodation in the city up to acceptable standards.

Of the 1885 dwellings inspected by the IIP, 1574 were found to be providing substandard living conditions.

Meanwhile, 929 homes looked at by EH teams failed to pass inspection.

In total, 2471 improvement notices were served to landlords, requiring them to carry out essential renovations. Another 151  ‘prohibition notices’ were also served during this time, preventing these landlords for re-letting their properties.

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Among the breaches found were mould growing on ceilings and walls, exposed live wires and/or sockets not properly secured, severe damp, rotten wood, missing smoke alarms, and failure to provide a heating unit in each room.

A number of properties failed inspection because they did not provided emergency lighting in common areas, or allowed tenants access to a washing machine and a clothes-dryer, if their rented unit lacks a private garden or yard.

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