Government must act to enforce minimum standards in the private rented sector- Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the Minister for Housing to bring forward his timeline for ensuring compliance with minimum standard regulations in the private rented sector.
Speaking today during a housing committee debate on the issue, Deputy Ó Broin said:
“It has been eight months now since the RTÉ Investigates Nightmare to Let documentary which highlighted the extremely poor standards of some rental properties.
“Sinn Féin’s private members motion on improving standards in the private rented sector was passed without opposition last November. Unfortunately on a number of our key recommendations there has been little or no action.
“Our motion called for greater resources for Local Authorities to move towards inspecting at a minimum 25% of rental properties, an NCT type registration system for landlords and tougher sanctions for landlords who refuse to register their tenancies or meet minimum standards.
“Many local authorities do not currently have a robust inspection regime in place. According to a report from National Government and Oversight Committee (NOAC) in 2016 some local authorities were only inspecting 1 to 2% of rental properties while others inspected up to 34%.
“The government must provide the necessary resources required so local authorities can reach a 25% minimum inspection rate as quickly as possible. The current timeline of reaching the 25% target by 2021 is not good enough and must be brought forward.
“The NCT style registration system for landlords must not be self-certification. A robust Local Authority led NCT type registration would encourage greater landlord compliance with legal standards.
“We also need to see a clear legislative definition of gross overcrowding, the inclusion of social housing tenancies within the protections of the Residential Tenancies Act and Board and a legal sanction on estate agents and letting platforms who advertise or let properties in clear breach of standards.”