27/10/2010

Rentals 'Sub-Standard', Says Donohue

Information obtained by Fine Gael Senator Paschal Donohoe indicates that of, the 19,800 rental properties inspected in 2009, a staggering 4,306 failed to meet minimum legal standards. Despite this, only three landlords were taken to court last year by local authorities for failing to meet these standards.

"Rogue landlords are causing huge distress for residents and tenants in every town and city in Ireland. Despite the fact that the Government has brought in new legal standards to deal with them and local authorities have spent €20 million since 2004 trying to deal with this problem, a huge number of properties are still not complying with the law,” he said.

"Figures that I have obtained clearly show that while the number of inspections is up, the number of court prosecutions is down. It simply is not credible to claim that only three landlords in the entire country merited prosecution when the scale of the problem is clear on every road and street in the country."

Senator Donohue continued: "The increase in the number of inspections in 2009 is welcome as it reveals the true scale of the problem. What is worrying, however, is the fact that there was a just 1% prosecution rate in 2007, with 25 prosecutions resulting from 2,379 sub-standard properties. That figure dropped to a shocking .069% last year with just three prosecutions arising from 4,306 below par properties.

"The Government must ensure that any new regulations that are put in place are fully implemented. As this year draws to a close we still do not have accurate information regarding the implementation of new laws for each city and county council last year. This problem is not going to go away."

Senator Donohue concluded by saying this information must be made available so the problem is properly tackled 'right across the board'.

(GK)

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