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Crowe demands increased inspection to combat substandard accommodation

22 August, 2005


Dublin South West Sinn Féin T.D. Sean Crowe has demanded that local authorities be given the resources and instructed to carry out increased inspections of properties in the private rental sector. Deputy Crowe made his comments following revelations from Threshold regarding the increased number of approaches they are receiving from people who are living in sub-standard accommodation in the private rented sector and after witnessing an increase in the number of substandard dwellings in his constituency.

Deputy Crowe said:

"Threshold's annual report has highlighted once again the problem of substandard accommodation in the private rented sector. There clearly needs to be a far greater emphasis put on addressing this problem and local authorities must be given the resources and instructed to carry out increased inspections of properties in the private rental sector.

"I am concerned that following the passage of the Residential Tenancies Act the Government has become complacent in relation to the private rented sector and have taken their eye off the ball. In reality this sector is still plagued with serious problems. Threshold say that last year they saw a 41 per cent increase in the number of people who had been illegally evicted and a 44 per cent increase in the number who had been refused the return of their deposits. Last week we had the revelations regarding the fact that failure of landlords to refund deposit was the single biggest cause of complaints brought by consumers in the Small Claims Court last year.

"The increased regulation of the private rented sector as a result of the Residential Tenancies Act was welcomed but it will not be of any benefit to tenants unless there is strict enforcement and increased levels of inspections. I would also reiterate Sinn Féin's demand for deposits to be held by the Private Residential Tenancies Board in light of the widespread failure of landlords to return deposits." ENDS

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