The days of landlords being allowed to neglect their properties and let them to fall into disrepair are coming to an end as new standards to regulate the private rented sector are due to come into force.
PD Cllr Terry O’Flaherty has sent a submission to the Private Housing sector, which is in the process of drawing up a revised set of standards, aimed at compelling landlords to look after the properties they let out to tenants.
“There are a huge amount of badly-neglected properties which are highly noticeable in estates all over the country,” she said. “The lack of regulation of this area up until now is lowering the tone of good housing estates and encouraging anti-social behaviour.”
In her submission, Cllr O’Flaherty proposes that landlords be obliged to spend some of the rental income they receive on looking after their property and ensuring it is in good condition for their tenants.
“The neighbours of rented houses should have a transparent method of accessing names and addresses of landlords if they wish to make a complaint,” she said.
Cllr O’Flaherty has also highlighted the issue of anti-social behaviour in her submission, outlining how all-night parties, loud music, playing football late into the night, and similar activities make life difficult for neighbours.
She is calling for a structure whereby landlords should be held accountable for the behaviour of their tenants.
“Landlords need to take responsibility for the type of tenants they rent their properties to and exert some sort of control on them,” she said. “In cases where the gardaí are called out to a rented property due to complaints about anti-social behaviour, they should charge a call-out fee to the landlord, who should then pass it on to the tenant involved. This would ensure landlords take more of an active role in managing their tenants and ensuring they are not causing havoc in a community.”
Cllr O’Flaherty said tenants need to play their part in looking after their rented property and ensure the outside of their home is kept neat and tidy and that their rubbish is properly presented for collection.