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More than half of rental properties 'below standards'

THOUSANDS of rented properties in Dublin have been found to be substandard and suffering from deficiencies such as mould, fire safety defects and exposed wiring.

A major report by the country's largest local authority, Dublin City Council, has uncovered extensive health and safety issues facing tenants.

Environmental experts inspected more than 5,000 homes in Dublin's north and south inner city and found that over 60pc required remedial works. Over 2,500 homes were brought to the required standard following the inspections.

Figures seen by the Herald show that a total of 100 prohibition notices have been issued to landlords who failed to respond to warning letters.

These orders, once lodged, prevent them from taking on new tenants.

And the council has initiated 76 separate legal actions over a two-year period against landlords who did not to comply with these orders.

The major blitz on landlords who continue to provide substandard accommodation is part of the largest local authority inspection programme in the country.

A total of 28 different locations were inspected between April 2012-May 2014. Among the issues uncovered were:

l Extensive mould on walls and ceilings

l Live electrical wires in bathroom facilities

l Broken windows and an absence of working fire alarms

l Internal bedrooms and toilets located on landings

The inspection team found extensive issues in properties in the north inner city.

In Cabra Park, a total of 323 improvement letters were sent to landlords following an inspection of 555 homes.

A total of 41 separate legal actions were initiated in relation to substandard properties located on the north circular road.

On the southside, inspectors reported health and safety issues in properties located in areas such as Rathmines, Harolds Cross and the South Circular Road.

In Grove Park in Rathmines, 328 improvement letters were sent after an inspection of 474 homes.

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Dublin City councillor Ray McAdam said that some of the conditions were "akin to the tenement blocks of the nineteenth and early twentieth century".

"Enhanced regulations around the area of fire safety, registration and inspections as well as greater certainty over tenants' rights are required as the numbers of people renting grows," he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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