Commenting on Threshold’s 2013 Annual Report released last week, Deputy Nolan said that accommodation standards in the private rental markets were slipping and tenants are being forced to accept below par accommodation.
“This is the result of a number of things – a shortage of accommodation, rising rents and the issue of deposit retention due to financial difficulties faced by many landlords. Local Authorities are obliged to inspect rented accommodation to ensure minimum standards are met and it is essential that this oversight responsibility is carried out. Many tenants are unaware of this obligation.”
The Labour Deputy said that while he urged Local Authorities in Galway to take on this role, he acknowledged that it was also important for the Government to make the necessary resources available to them.
“Housing in Galway, like the rest of the country, remains a challenging issue and it is vital that we work together to identify solutions for all aspects of the housing sector,” he said.
“I welcome the Minister for Housing, Jan O’Sullivan’s comments today that she is committed to introducing a tenant deposit protection scheme which will introduce a framework to protect rental deposits. She also acknowledged a need to enhance inspections. This is an important first step and I look forward to working with Minister O’Sullivan to make sure that Local Authorities in Galway get the necessary support to ensure that higher standards are met in the private rental market.”
The Galway T.D’s comments follow those in the Dáil, and in the national media by Threshold’s Senator Aideen Hayden which highlights the apparent inability of many Local Authorities to carry out inspections of all rental properties under their aegis; despite the inspection fees they receive from the Department of the Environment. These funds arise from the portion of the €90 registration fee paid by landlords to the PRTB (Private Rental Tenancies Board)
The Senator, who was awarded a PhD. in Housing at a conferring ceremony in UCD on December 2nd, has been highlighting the Threshold’s 2013 Annual Report, in a long overdue bid to eliminate substandard accommodation in Ireland, and ensure the well-being of the vulnerable.