Wexford Municipal Borough council spends tens of thousands of Euro refurbishing its own houses before allocating them to tenants while homes leased from private landlords are sometimes allocated in an appalling condition, according to Labour councillor George Lawlor.
'There is a chasm of standard between our own houses and leased houses', he told last week's local authority meeting. 'When we are allocating one of our own houses, we go over the top. We spend tens of thousands of Euro and put in the best of everything. It's overkill in terms of what we put into them.'
'But that it not the case when we get a house to lease from a landlord. We are putting people into filthy homes with broken and filthy kitchens and filthy fridges', said Cllr. Lawlor citing one instance in which a tenant was told he couldn't take anything out of a house and had to accept it as it was.
'He found a toilet in the grass outside and there were four bags of rubbish at the back of the house. The furniture was destroyed by cat claws, a cat had used a heater for a toilet and whenever the heating was turned on, a pungent aroma filled the house'.
'Meanwhile, one resident living beside a house bought by the local authority, informed me that he saw white van after white van arriving with all new fittings and thousands was spent on it', said the Labour councillor.
'But a person allocated a leased house is expected to go into a filthy house'.
A housing official said the Council carries out an inspection when a house is being leased, it is inspected before and several months after a tenant moves in.
'I would be very disappointed that a house would be left in the state you describe. We would like for leased units to be of a similar or comparable standard to our own'.
Cllr. Lawlor said no onus is placed on the landlord of a leased house to ensure it is of an acceptable standard.