Call for crackdown on rogue landlords

Cllr Donal Grady’s call for proper inspections of rented properties was supported by Cllr Maura Healy-Rae

UNDER pressure tenants in Killarney are “being shown the door” by landlords if they complain that the facilities are not up to the required standard, a local councillors has claimed.

Cllr Donal Grady said some private landlords are not carrying out repairs when asked to do so and he has asked for Kerry County Council’s housing department  o conduct inspections every six months to ensure that essential repairs are tended to.

“There are houses with leaks and rat droppings and if the tenants complain they are shown the door,” Cllr Grady said.

“People are living in appalling conditions said Cllr Grady who said, as a landlord himself, he ensures standards are met.

Rat droppings have been spotted in a number of rented houses, the council heard

Cllr Maura Healy-Rae said that while it was important to avoid giving the impression that the council was “bashing landlords”, it’s all about standards.

People are entitled to a decent standard of accommodation and landlords have to face up to their responsibilities in that respect, she said.

Council management told Cllr Grady that the local authority has a dedicated private rental inspection unit which carries out planned inspections of properties registered with the Rental Tenancy Board to ensure compliance with standards for rented houses.

There are currently in the region of 8,000 such tenancies in Kerry and the council has been given a target of inspecting 15% of the dwellings in 2019. It will rise to 20% in 2020 and to 25% in 2021.

“This will require us to inspect 2,000 properties which will be challenging but will eventually result in every private rental property being inspected at least once every four years,” a council spokesperson said.

Each tenant also has a right to lodge a complaint with the council’s inspections unit if they feel that the landlord is not complying with the minimum standard regulations.

“Our inspectors are quite diligent. They work with the landlord and they will follow it up,” the spokesperson added.

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