Environmental Health-Standards in Private Rented Accommodation
Tá Comhairle Cathrach Bhaile Átha Cliath tiomnaithe d’fheabhas a chur ar chaighdeáin mhaireachtála tionóntaí in áiteanna cónaithe phríobháideacha ar cíos.
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. This section provides a citywide service, which deals with housing standards for private rented properties.
Dealing with Complaints within your private rented home
If a tenant has a problem with 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.
Tenants have certain responsibilities such as allowing the landlord reasonable access to inspect the property and carry out any necessary works at a mutually acceptable time. 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 chose to refer the matter to the Environmental Health Section for investigation.
In the event of a complaint about a property you believe to be a private rented property, where you are not the tenant please provide as much information as possible about your complaint or allegation.
Contacting the Environmental Health Service
- Customer Services can be contacted at Tel: 01 222 6500, who will take details of the complaint and forward it to the Private Rented Unit.
- E-mail: [email protected]
- Twitter: @dccprivaterent
- When making contact you will need to:
- Provide your full name, address and telephone/mobile number along with full details of your concerns/query
- The name and address and telephone number of your landlord (where appropriate) should also be provided
- An Environmental Health Officer will contact the complainant and depending on the nature of the problem, they may offer advice or the complainant may be referred to another section. If the Environmental Health Officer is of the opinion that the complaint requires further investigation, they will arrange an appointment to inspect the rented property or carry out further investigation into the complaint or allegation
On 01 May 2019 the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019 came into operation
The Regulations replace the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017
Main Changes in the new Regulations: The main changes to the 2017 Regulations are contained in those provisions dealing with Food Preparation and Storage and Laundry – Regulation 7 In order to encourage and incentivise landlords to offer longer term leases, and to encourage a transition to a model of longer term rental options for households, sub-section (5) of Regulation 7 is being amended, such that landlords providing longer term leases (minimum of 10 years), will no longer be required to ‘furnish’ such properties.
The standards for private rented properties are set out in these new regulations.
- These Regulations require landlords of private rented properties with some exceptions, to ensure that such houses meet certain minimum standards. The standards relate to, inter alia, structural condition, provision of sanitary facilities, food preparation, storage and laundry, availability of adequate heating, lighting and ventilation, safety of oil, electricity and gas installations, fire safety, refuse facilities and provide information to the tenants.
- The main objective of these regulations is to establish minimum standards in order to protect the health and wellbeing of tenants and which makes private rented properties safe and fit for habitation.
Scope of the 2019 Regulations:
The Scope of the new 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.
- Please see below for Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019
Main Provisions of the 2019 Regulations:
These regulations specify requirements in relation to:
- Structural Condition
- Sanitary Facilities
- Heating Facilities
- Food Preparation and Storage and Laundry
- Fire Safety
- Gas, Oil and Electricity
- See Housing Table 2019 (see Appendix1)
Enforcement of Housing Standards in Private Rented Houses
- Landlords failing to comply with their legal obligations in private rented houses are liable to 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.
Landlords are obliged to provide tenants with 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. 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.
Information that is required in a Rent book
- Name and address of landlord and of his agent (if any)
- 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
Inspections of Private Rented Properties
- Environmental Health Officers are “authorised persons” who are empowered to inspect a private rented house made under the above legislation
- Proactive inspections are those in which Environmental Health Officers identify private rented houses for inspections. The Environmental Health Section will contact the landlord by an appointment letter in order to arrange an inspection. A time and date for the inspection will be clearly stated in the letter. If the landlord intends to be represented at the appointment, the details (including the name and the telephone number) of that individual must be given to the Officer beforehand. The landlord must notify the tenant beforehand and they should facilitate the inspection.
- Reactive inspections are carried out following the receipt of a complaint. Appointments are arranged directly with the tenant in response to complaints or if the landlord cannot be contacted.
- Failure to admit an Environmental Health Officer from inspecting the property constitutes an obstruction. As regards the inspection of multi-occupancy dwellings, all lettings must be made available for the inspection.
Obligation to provide Information to the Housing Authority
- Dublin City Council, being the Housing Authority, may require the landlord to state in writing and supply to the Council information in respect of “particulars of the estate, interest or right by virtue of which he occupies such land or receives such rent, as the case may be, and the name and address (so far as they are known to him) of every person who to his knowledge has any estate or interest in or right over or in respect of such land.”
What is the Landlord Responsible For?
- Landlords are legally obliged to ensure that their private rented houses (which include a house, flat or an apartment) are maintained in good condition and repair. Landlords are required to ensure that their lettings comply with the Regulations while let and while available for letting.
This section contains a list of Prohibition Notices served under the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 as inserted by the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009.
- 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 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).
- 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