by Alan Jacques
As a result of the inspections between January 2012 and November 2014, the local authority has issued 934 notice of works and improvement notices.
So far in 2014, 330 properties have been inspected and 107 notice of works and 46 improvement notices have been issued.
The Council, which is responsible for enforcing the standards for rented housing regulations in Limerick City and County, says it continues to carry out inspections across Limerick on a weekly basis in order to “improve the housing standards for tenants in private rented accommodation”.
The standards include requirements in respect of structural condition, sanitary facilities, heating facilities, food preparation, storage and laundry, ventilation, lighting, fire safety, refuse and the safety of gas and electrical supply.
Director of Services for Home and Social Development, Caroline Curley said that in the vast majority of cases, the defects raised in the notices issued to landlords were resolved and the case closed following a re-inspection of the property by the council.
“We are committed to ensuring the regulations are enforced by carrying out inspections on privately rented accommodation under our remit, following up each inspection with written communication to the landlord and carrying out further inspections as needed,” she said.
Ms Curley pointed out that the landlord of each rented property has a legal obligation to ensure their accommodation was in compliance with the regulations and to make repairs as necessary, subject to normal wear and tear.
“These regulations do not, however, remove the tenant’s obligations in respect of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 which requires that tenants must avoid causing damage and/or make good any damage beyond normal wear and tear,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Council is reminding tenants of private rented accommodation that there is a set procedure in place if they believe their accommodation is not in compliance with the regulations.
Tenants should initially contact their landlord in order to try and remedy the issues. If it transpires that the problem has not been rectified by the landlord, the tenant may then make a written complaint to Limerick City and County Council regarding the standard of their rented accommodation.