Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has today introduced the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Bill 2020.
The Bill, if passed, introduces an NCT type system for landlords, where a certain set of minimum and fire safety standards would have to be met before the property is rented out.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“In November 2017, a Sinn Féin motion was passed in the Dáil that contained a number of measures aimed at protecting tenants in the private rented sector.
“The motion was introduced on foot of an RTÉ Investigates programme ‘Nightmare to Let’ which revealed frightening breaches of minimum standards in the private rental sector.
“Central to the recommendations was the introduction of an NCT-type certification system for landlords.
“This would require landlords to prove their compliance with minimum standards and fire safety standards before a property could be rented.
“Three years later and neither this government nor the last has taken steps towards introducing this NCT type system.
“The Bill introduced today seeks to place this obligation on a statutory footing in the Housing Acts.
“It outlines the steps a landlord would have to take to ensure that the property they were seeking to rent out was fit for purpose.
“This is not overly onerous for landlords. They would simply have to pass an inspection conducted by a suitably qualified professional from the relevant local authority, and the certificate must be provided to the Residential Tenancies Board as part of the tenancy registration process.
“The certification process could be rolled out on a phased basis for pre-existing rented properties over four-years, and the Minister would decide on the charge to landlord for obtaining such a certificate.
“The legislation is necessary because unfortunately the private rental inspection processes currently used by local authorities is unacceptably low and varies hugely from area to area.
“The private rental inspection rate contained in the latest National Oversight and Audit Commission report indicated that in 2018 there were 322,230 registered tenancies and out of these, 23,824 homes were inspected – just 7% of properties.
“We need a more consistent approach that offers tenants protection from poor standards and that provides landlords with certified proof that their property meets fire safety and minimum standards.”