Damp and lack of running water among issues found by councils in rental properties

Dublin City Council issued 36 prohibition notices to landlords last year, while Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council issued 24

A private rental property in Dublin city had rainwater leaking through the ceiling of three rooms, while a ceiling in a separate property collapsed due to water damage, according to an analysis of prohibition orders issued to landlords.

Dublin City Council issued 36 such notices to landlords last year, while Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council issued 24.

A number of issues feature consistently in the notices, obtained by The Irish Times under Freedom of Information laws – the presence of damp and mould, the absence of adequate heating, and broken windows that could not be opened.

Local authorities inspect private rental properties to ensure compliance with the minimum standards for rental accommodation, as outlined in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019. If found to be noncompliant an improvement notice is issued outlining what needs to be rectified. Failure to do this results in a prohibition notice being issued under which a landlord cannot relet the property until the breaches of regulations are rectified.


Under the law there are various standards landlords must meet in areas including structural condition, availability of adequate heating, lighting and ventilation, safety of oil, electricity and gas installations, fire safety and refuse facilities.

The notices show a number of properties did not have sinks, baths or showers with connections to running water.

In one property in Dublin city the prohibition notice states that in a rear bedroom “the ceiling had collapsed and was severely damaged”.

“There was evidence of water damage and the tenant stated at the time of the inspection that there is a leak coming from the water tank,” it added.

A private rented flat in the city centre also had leak issues. “At the time of the inspection the tenant stated that when it is raining the rain water is leaking through the ceiling in the kitchen. As a result of this the ceiling was stained and discoloured and the paintwork was crumbling.”

The notice highlighted rainwater also coming through the ceilings of the bedroom and livingroom.

In Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, tenants reported heating not working for the past 18 months and mouse infestations in the properties in which they were living.

In one apartment complex the second and third floor common area had a “build up of black mould”, the lift was not working and it was “not clear if there was a suitable fire detection and alarm system in the multiunit building at the time of the inspection”.

The notice said: “There are serious concerns in relation to potential electrical and fire safety hazards in this property. This contravention must be addressed urgently.”

A prohibition notice issued to a separate studio apartment, meanwhile, said: “Plaster work on exterior wall of the studio apartment was crumbling and holed.”

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is Health Correspondent of The Irish Times