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  • Northside East

More rent tenancy inspections demanded

Thursday, 11th January, 2018 8:00am
More rent tenancy inspections demanded

Rent.jpg

More rent tenancy inspections demanded

Rent.jpg

Shauna Bowers 

A NORTHSIDE councillor has expressed concern about the inspection rates of privately rented tenancies in the Fingal area.

Cllr Paul Mulville (SD), who represents the Swords Local Electoral Area (LEA), believes there needs to be a higher inspection rate and that the current fail rate needs to be targeted.

“The figures provided to me by council management show that 206 inspections of private rented properties were carried out in the Balbriggan/Swords area in 2017, which is 5.15 per cent of rented properties,” Cllr Mulville said. 

“Of these, 111 failed to meet minimum rental standards, a massive 63 per cent.

“There is a need for a much higher rate of inspections of private rent tenancies in Fingal, and also for the council to use its legislative powers to stringently enforce the minimum rental standards. 

“Light touch regulation has no place as far as people’s homes are concerned.”

The percentage of rented properties that failed inspection increased between the years 2016 and 2017 by 11 percentage points.

Balbriggan resident Paul Carroll has been renting private accommodation for the last 15 years and has dealt with many issues when it comes to his tenancy.

“I haven’t had a single housing inspection since I began renting,” Paul claimed. 

“I’ve been in my current house since September 2016 and I’ve had great trouble.

“I currently pay way too much rent for the living conditions I have. I think inspections are the only way to ensure that landlords, good and bad, follow the same rules so we all have good living conditions.”

Paul believes Fingal County Council should enforce fines on landlords who fail these inspections.

“Either they fine them or maybe they fix the problem and then give them the bill to pay after,” he added.

The council acknowledged the issue and said it is hoping to tackle it this year.

“Fingal County Council is committed to increasing private inspected numbers in line with the requirements of the National Oversight and Audit Committee report on Private Rented Housing Inspections and arrangements are underway to ensure targets are achieved,” a council spokesperson told the Northside People.

“The council completed a Private Rented Accommodation Inspections Strategic Plan 2017-2019 in 2016.  

“A dedicated web page on www.fingal.ie was set up to guide tenants in private rented accommodation in relation to their rights and details of the complaints process.  

 “A dedicated email address to record complaints and enquiries from members of the public is listed there and any complaints are forwarded to the appropriate inspections staff.”

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