Environmental Health-Standards in Private Rented Accommodation
What we do
Dublin City Council is dedicated to improving the living standards of tenants in private rented accommodation. This is done through the inspection of private rented properties by our Environmental Health Officers. These inspections are carried out on a proactive basis and in response to complaints from members of the public. We also carry out inspection in properties who are part of the Housing Assistant Payment (HAP) and Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS).
Complaints about private rented accommodation
If a tenant has a concern about the condition of their rented accommodation, they should in the first instance contact the landlord in order to give the landlord an opportunity to put matters right.
If a tenant has notified the landlord regarding the need for repairs but the problem has not been rectified by the landlord, then the tenant can choose to refer the matter to the Environmental Health Section for investigation, contact details are below
If you wish to make a complaint about a property that you believe to be a private rented property, but you are not the tenant, then you may also do so by contacting the Environmental Health Section, contact details are below. Please provide as much information as possible about your complaint or concern.
When making contact you will need to
- Provide your full name, address, telephone/mobile number and email address along with full details of your concerns/query.
- The name and address and telephone number of your landlord (where appropriate) should also be provided.
- Contacting the Environmental Health Service – Private Rented Unit
T: 01 222 6500
E: [email protected] Twitter: @dccprivaterent
Once your complaint has been logged, it will be allocated to an Environmental Health Officer to investigate. An Environmental Health Officer will contact the complainant directly.
Depending on the nature of the complaint, the Environmental Health Officer may either offer advice, arrange an inspection or they may refer the complaint to a different section if necessary.
If the Environmental Health Officer is of the opinion that the complaint requires further investigation they will arrange an inspection, this may be either Physical or Virtual.
Inspection and Enforcement of Private Rented Standards
Inspection and enforcement within Private Rented Properties inside the Dublin City catchment area is the responsibility of the Dublin City Council Environmental Health section, as part of Housing and Community Services department.
An inspection may be instigated undertaken as part of the HAP, Homeless HAP or RAS process, or it may be carried out due to a complaint or it may be carried out on a proactive basis.
Every Inspection will be undertaken by an Environmental Health Officer who is both authorised to undertake this work.
Where contraventions to the regulations are noted, an Improvement Letter or Improvement Notice may be served. An Improvement Letter and an Improvement Notice details the works to be completed by the landlord within a prescribed time frame. Failure to complete these works may result in an escalation of enforcement proceedings, for example from an Improvement Letter to an Improvement Notice or from an Improvement Notice to a Prohibition Notice and, possibly, legal proceedings being issued in respect of the property.
A prohibition notice is served when the housing authority is of the opinion that a landlord has failed to comply with an improvement notice served on them. The Environmental Health Officer may also consider initiating legal proceedings. The prohibition notice directs the landlord not to re-let the private rented house for rent or other valuable consideration until the contraventions to which the Improvement notice relates have been remedied
Where a landlord re-lets a private rented house in breach of a prohibition notice, they may be prosecuted and on conviction, may be subject to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, along with a daily fine of €400 for a continuing offence (together with orders for the costs and expenses of the investigation, detection and prosecution of the offence, which may be considerable).
To view the list of current prohibition notices served under the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 as inserted by the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, within Dublin City Councils functional area click here; View Prohibition Notices
Inspections during the Covid-19 Pandemic
At present an inspection of a private rented property may be either a physical inspection or a virtual inspections.
- The Landlord (or their representative) will be contacted and asked to complete a checklist – this includes questions from all sections of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019. The Landlord is given six weeks to return the completed checklist and required photographs.
- The checklist will either be sent via email or by post.
- The tenant will be advised that a virtual inspection process has been commenced by the Environmental Health Officer.
- Once the Virtual Inspection documentation and photographs are returned, the Environmental Health Officer assesses the information received. The Environmental Health Officer may seek clarification on the returned documentation
- If contraventions of the regulations are noted, an Improvement Letter will be issued to the landlord, detailing the contraventions and allowing a period of time within which the contraventions must be attended to.
- Once the works are completed, the landlord (or their representative) contacts the Environmental Health Officer to confirm same.
- The tenant will be contacted by the Environmental Health Officer to confirm that the works have been completed and that they have no further concerns regarding the condition of their property.
- If the landlord does not engage with the Virtual Inspection process, or disengages from the process at any point, the Environmental Health Officer will carry out a physical inspection of the property.
- As a Quality Control measure, the Environmental Health Section are carrying out verification checks on a random selection or properties which are inspected and deemed to be compliant with the regulations, by virtual inspection. These inspections are arranged directly with the tenant of the property.
Physical Inspection during Covid 19
- The Environmental Health Officer must have the tenant details in order to carry out a physical inspection of a property if the property is rented and occupied.
- The tenant will either be contacted by Environmental Health Officer on the telephone or email or by letter to organise an inspection appointment.
- A Covid Health Questionnaire must be completed before an Environmental Health Officer can proceed with a physical inspection.
- If you receive an appointment letter, please contact Environmental Health Officer as requested in the letter.
- Where contraventions to the regulations are noted, an Improvement Letter or Improvement Notice may be served. An Improvement Letter and an Improvement Notice details the works to be completed by the landlord within a prescribed time frame. Failure to complete these works may result in an escalation of enforcement proceedings, for example from an Improvement Letter to an Improvement Notice or from an Improvement Notice to a Prohibition Notice and legal proceedings being issued in respect of the property.
In order for us to carry out an inspection in line with the current Covid 19 Government Guidance please note the following prior to our inspection
- A Covid 19 Health Questionnaire must be completed with the inspecting Environmental Health Officer at the time that the inspection appointment is made.
- Some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be worn by the Environmental Health Officer at the time of the inspection.
- For the duration of the inspection, occupants are required to wear a face covering where possible.
- Ensure that all animals (cats & dogs) are contained for the duration of the inspection, to an external area if possible.
- At least 15 minutes prior to the inspection time please ensure that all windows to the property are opened and remain open for the duration of the inspection.
- All occupants will need to maintain social distancing and remain at least 2 meters from the Environmental Health Officer or may remain in one room (this room will not be entered by the Environmental Health Officer) or may vacate the letting for the duration of the inspection.
- You will be contacted by telephone by the Environmental Health Officer on their arrival at the property and again asked to confirm the number of occupants and their health status (Covid 19 Health Questionnaire).
- Where the health status of the occupants/tenants has changed then the inspection may not proceed and the Environmental Health Officer will make an arrangement to reschedule with you.
If you have a query on any of this information, please do not hesitate to contact us prior to the inspection.
Disputes between Landlords and Tenants
The Environmental Health Section does not have any remit in the area of Landlord and Tenant disputes and cannot facilitate mediation services between Landlords and Tenants. The Residential tenancies board can assist you with this matter
The standards for private rented properties are set out in the above legislation. The main objective of these regulations is to establish minimum standards in private rented housing in order to protect the health and well-being of tenants.
The regulations apply to all rented houses (both single and multi-occupancy) let for rent or available for letting with the following exemptions:
- A holiday home.
- Accommodation provided by the Health Service Executive or by an approved body, containing sanitary, cooking or dining facilities provided for communal use within the building.
- A house that is let by a housing authority pursuant to any of their functions under the Housing Acts, 1966 to 2004, and is a demountable house.
Main provisions of the 2019 regulations
Structural condition – The purpose of this Regulation is to ensure that the rented house is in a proper state of structural repair.
Sanitary facilities – The purpose of this Regulation relating to Sanitary Facilities is to ensure that each house has exclusive access to its own sanitary facilities and that those facilities are contained within the same habitable area of the house,
Heating facilities – The purpose of this regulation is to ensure that each habitable room in the house has a fixed appliance or appliances, which are capable of providing effective heating.
Food preparation and storage and laundry – This regulation requires that each house be provided with adequate facilities for the hygienic storage, preparation and cooking of food. Each house shall have sole and exclusive access to these facilities within the same habitable area of the house and with the exception of laundry facilities, sharing of these facilities between different lettings (houses) is not permitted.
Ventilation – The purpose of Regulation 8 is to ensure that all houses are adequately ventilated and that all means of ventilation is maintained in good repair and working order.
Lighting – Regulation 9 ensures that all habitable rooms have natural lighting and that all rooms have an adequate means of artificial lighting. It is not necessary under the Regulations that halls, stairs and landings have natural lighting but they should have adequate artificial lighting.
Fire safety – Regulation 10 provides for improved fire safety measures in rented accommodation. It distinguishes between houses in multi-unit buildings and houses not forming part of a multiunit building.
Refuse facilities – This Regulation requires that each house must have access to suitable pest and vermin-proof refuse storage facilities.
Gas, Oil and Electricity – Regulation 12 provides that all gas, oil and electricity installations be maintained in good repair and safe working order.
Information – Adequate information must be provided to the tenant so that they can safely utilise the rented property.
If you are living in a private rented property, The Landlord is obliged to provide a “rent book” (or other documentation serving the same purpose) at the commencement of a tenancy. This applies to dwellings rented by private landlords, voluntary bodies, local authorities and employers. This does not include situations where you are renting a room within the landlords’ home.
Information required in a rent book
- Name and address of landlord and the agent (where applicable)
- Term of tenancy
- Amount of rent and any other payments to be made by the tenant to the landlord
- Details of any advance rent or deposit paid
- Date of commencement of tenancy
- Particulars of furnishings and appliances provided by the landlord for the tenants’ exclusive use
The requirement to provide a rent book is set down under
- Housing (Rent Books) Regulations 1993
- Housing (Rent Books) Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2004)
- Housing (Rent Books) Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2010)
- (Made under Section 17) of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992
- The Department for the Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government www.housing.gov.ie
- Residential Tenancies Board www.rtb.ie
- Threshold - National Housing Organisation www.threshold.ie
- Focus Ireland www.focusireland.ie
- Citizens’ information www.citizensinformation.ie/en/
- Health Services Executive www.hse.ie
- Housing Assistance Payment www.hap.ie