Almost 85 per cent of Dublin flats inspected in a crackdown on substandard private accommodation failed to meet minimum housing standards.
A draft Dublin City Council/ Royal Institute of Architects report found the planning system failed to regulate the splitting of houses into flats, and “two tier” standards had developed between new apartments and older flats.
The report follows a three-year intensified inspection programme to root out slum conditions in the city’s private rented sector. It found 90 per cent of flats converted from single homes which were inspected did not have planning permission, and less than half their tenancies were Private Residential Tenancy Board (PRTB) registered.
Private flats must comply with just 15 per cent of the standards of general housing, yet despite this 84 per cent failed to meet those basic standards. Flats are not required to meet the size rules of new apartments and, on average, flats inspected were half the general minimum size of 55sq m.
Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said the lack of city accommodation meant people were accepting appalling conditions.
“Rat-invested dwellings, complete breaches of fire regulations, no natural light – these things are common, ” said Mr Flynn.
The report recommends flats be required to meet general housing standards, and the inspection programme should be extended nationally. The role of the PRTB should be broadened, and landlords should be required to register their properties, not just tenancies, with the board.