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Ó Snodaigh welcomes new measures to improve rented accommodations

26 January, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has welcomed the announcement of a package of measures to improve standards in rented accommodation which are due to come into effect from February 1st. However Deputy Ó Snodaigh raised concerns that some of the measures included will not come into effect until 2013 for existing lettings.

Speaking today he said, "I welcome this much needed package of measures which, if implemented, will significantly improve standards in rented accommodation and effectively see an end to bed sits in Irish society. Enforcement is crucial if these measures are to be successful.

"However, I am concerned that some of these measures will not come into effect for a further four years for existing lettings. This does not reflect the sense of urgency which is required to bring accommodations up to standard for the thousands of renters who are suffering in substandard conditions.

"The Minister, in his statement announcing these measures, has encouraged local authorities to continue with rigorous and targeted inspections of rented accommodation. However, between 2002 and 2006, 33,644 dwellings were inspected under the existing regulations with 10,162 not meeting the legal requirements. Of those 10,162 only 79 legal actions were taken by local authorities. While continued inspections are important they are useless unless legal actions are taken against those landlords whose properties do not meet legal requirements.

"Extra resources could and should be provided to local authorities through the financial penalties of offending landlords." ENDS

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