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Spectacular fail for Limerick’s private rented accommodation – Quinlivan

8 November, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Speaking during the Sinn Féin motion on private rental sector accommodation last night, Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan said “it is important to show the Dáil is taking note of the disgraceful behaviour of some landlords”.

The Limerick City TD said:

“The lack of resources provided to local authorities has resulted in a lack of inspections and as a consequence the total disregard of standards in the private rental sector.

“Real action needs to be taken by this government on this problem. We are calling for an NCT type system for private rented housing to further strengthen compliance with legal standards, as suggested by Threshold, the housing charity.

“Almost every citizen will spend some of their life in a rented property, so making sure these properties are safe and properly regulated is of utmost importance.

“Like everyone else, I was absolutely shocked but not surprised watching the conditions renters were living in as shown on RTÉ. The level of greed and disregard for people’s lives is absolutely disgusting. It shames us all.

“The housing crisis is being exploited by these unscrupulous landlords – as tenants are forced to accept substandard accommodation because there is simply no other alternative.

“Yet again, it is the RTÉ Investigations Unit who exposes wrongdoing in this country, this time in the private rented sector. Why is it often left up to a broadcasting organisation to reveal such wrongdoing in our country? What if they didn’t investigate this particular issue? How long would it go on for? Only a terrible tragedy in one of these properties would have probably brought this to light otherwise.

“In 2016, only 4% of private rented properties were inspected by local authorities. Of the paltry numbers of properties investigated in Limerick, every single one of them failed.

“Regulatory regimes are practically non-existent in many sectors of our society, and this needs to change.

“For private rented accommodation, we need a pro-active system of regulation, not a reactionary one.

“That’s why we are calling for an NCT type system that will provide tenants with reassurance that their accommodation meets the provided standards, and prevent such abuses like cramming over 60 people into one property.

“Also, our motion rightly calls for a review of penalties faced by landlords – as people were rightly disgusted that some landlords were raking in thousands of euro in rent by cramming huge amounts of tenants into buildings and walking away with huge profits.” 

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