ALMOST 70 per-cent of all private rental accommodation inspected in Donegal last year failed to meet the minimum standards required by law, new figures reveal.
The minimum criteria for rental accommodation is outlined in the government’s Housing Regulations document which came into effect in 2017.
In examining a property, inspectors take into account issues such as structural condition, provision of sanitary facilities as well as facilities for food preparation, storage and laundry, availability of adequate heating, lighting and ventilation, safety of oil, electricity and gas installations, fire safety and refuse facilities.
Data published by the Department of Housing shows that of the 1,115 properties inspected in Donegal last year, 757 failed to meet the regulatory requirements.
In every case the landlord was served with a list of improvements to be carried out.
Limerick City and County Council had the highest fail rate with all of the properties inspected failing to meet required levels of compliance.
Carlow County Council, Laois County Council, Louth County Council, Offaly County Council, Sligo County Council and Galway City Council had a 99 per-cent failure rate.
Cavan County Council had the lowest fail rate at 29.5 per-cent.
Gareth McLarnon of Letterkenny-based estate agents Glen Estates said though the statistics may not give a full picture of the private rental situation in Donegal. He said that in the main, the standard of properties being rented privately in the county is good and that landlords generally are keen to comply with regulations.
“In my opinion the standard of privately rented accommodation in Donegal is good,” Mr McLarnon said.
“The figures published by the Department of Housing may be slightly skewed because inspectors look for up to date information like boiler certificates and the landlord may not have them immediately to hand. They need to go and find the documentation but in the meantime, the inspection is recorded as a fail. But once the information requested is handed in, that fail becomes a pass. For that reason, I believe the figures may be somewhat skewed and in my opinion the standard here in Letterkenny and Donegal in general is high.”
Under the new regulations which came into force in Ireland two years ago, landlords were issued with a list of obligations they must adhere to. These include access to a washing machine and facilities such as a four-ring hob with oven and grill and a sink with mains water supply, hot water and draining area.
Gareth McLarnon added, “Some of what has been introduced is very good, things like having up-to-date smoke detectors, carbon monoxide monitors, fire blankets and security latches on certain windows. But all this only came in in 2017 so it is pretty new and the word is still only getting out there.”