Wednesday 18 September 2019

Three overcrowded rental buildings shut after exposé

Overcrowded conditions seen by RTÉ Investigates
Overcrowded conditions seen by RTÉ Investigates

Alan O'Keeffe

Dublin Fire Brigade closed three buildings following an undercover investigation by 'RTÉ Investigates' into substandard accommodation.

The programme, broadcast on RTÉ One last night, spent six months examining standards in the private rental sector.

Undercover researchers found dangerously overcrowded accommodation and sub-standard buildings with multiple fire safety breaches.

Overcrowded conditions seen by RTÉ Investigates

Three multiple occupancy buildings with more than 120 tenants have since been closed after inspection by Dublin Fire Brigade.

One Dublin building had more than 60 tenants while another had more than 40 occupants.

A fire safety expert described the conditions as "the worst" he had ever seen.

Responsibility for inspecting the properties rests with local councils.

One of the properties seen by RTÉ Investigates

The programme declared the latest figures to emerge from inspections in the rental sector showed problems were nationwide.

Figures supplied to 'RTÉ Investigates' under Freedom of Information legislation revealed only 4pc of rental properties were inspected last year and of those that were inspected, more than two thirds were not compliant with regulations.

Beds inside one rental property seen by RTÉ Investigates

There was a 100pc failure rate in four districts - Kilkenny, Louth, Offaly, Limerick city and county.

The figures showed the overall non-compliance rate for the country was 69pc.

Aideen Hayden of Threshold said on the situation "is becoming significantly worse."

"It is a failure of regulation and it is a failure on the part of those people who have responsibility for regulation and it is a failure on the part of the government in relation to funding the enforcement of this regulation.

"These are situations that should not be tolerated in a humane society and it is an absolute failure on our part as a people."

Irish Independent

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