herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

One-in-three homes fail blitz on 'slum landlords'

INSPECTIONS: Two-year crackdown by Dublin City Council finds alarming levels of poor quality accommodation situated on both sides of the capital

Around one-in-three homes inspected as part of the first ever city-wide blitz on "slum landlords" still do not meet required standards.

The blitz has resulted in more than 2,600 sub-standard homes being brought up to scratch.

But the two year pilot programme by Dublin City Council has also found an alarming level of poor quality accommodation on both sides of the capital.

Environmental and safety experts inspected 5,114 homes and discovered that 88pc were below standard, according to figures obtained by the Herald.

Defects

The intensified inspection programme, which is expected to be rolled out by other local authorities, exposed an array of issues including fire safety defects, extensive mould, electrical faults and bedrooms without access to a window.

Thousands of improvement letters were sent out to landlords, while legal and prohibition action was taken against more than 100 individuals.

Dublin City Council confirmed that 2,676 lettings were brought up to the required safety standard after initially being found to be in breach.

But 1,803 - or 35pc - of the homes inspected have yet to be given the all clear by officials in the council's Environmental Unit.

The scheme has seen inspectors visit homes in 28 locations in both North and South Dublin since May 2012.

In the North Circular Road, 999 lettings were inspected, with 854 of these found to be in breach of safety standards on initial inspection.

The figures show that 680 of these are now compliant.

On the southside, inspections were carried out in areas including Harold's Cross, Ranelagh and the South Circular Road.

In Grove Park in Dublin 6, 474 lettings were inspected, with 444 of these found to contain serious safety and housing issues.

According to the figures, 357 of these are now compliant.

The information was provided by Fine Gael councillor Ray McAdam, who has supported the clampdown by the council since it was launched.

Mr McAdam said last night that thousands of homes have now undergone the necessary refurbishment works due to the enforcement action taken by Dublin City Council.

Garda sources said that the scheme has significantly improved the living conditions of tenants and their neighbours.

Complaints

In a small number of areas in the city, residents have contacted gardai and the city council with complaints that landlords are allowing their properties to fall into poor conditions.

Meanwhile, Dublin City Council said that the programme has "improved the living conditions" for 2,673 private rented tenants living in buildings that are now fit for purpose.

Landlords are legally obliged to ensure that their private rented properties - be they houses, flats or apartments - are maintained in good condition and repair.

In addition, they are required to ensure that their rented properties comply with regulations at all times while let.

They are responsible for maintaining the exterior of the building as well.

hnews@herald.ie

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