Half of all local councils fail to inspect 10% of private rentals

Government provided €2m to local authorities to increase inspections last year

Galway City Council had the lowest percentage of private rentals inspected at 2 per cent, while Dublin City Council and Cork County Council inspected 4 per cent of properties. Photograph: Getty

Galway City Council had the lowest percentage of private rentals inspected at 2 per cent, while Dublin City Council and Cork County Council inspected 4 per cent of properties. Photograph: Getty

 

Half of all local authorities failed to inspect the target number of private rental premises in their areas last year.

The Department of Housing set a target for local councils to inspect 10 per cent of all private rentals in their areas in 2018, as part of an initiative which seeks to see 25 per cent of privately rented dwellings being inspected by 2021.

Sixteen of the 31 councils failed to meet this target last year, according to an analysis of figures from the Department of Housing and the Rental Tenancies Board (RTB).

Galway City Council had the lowest percentage of private rentals inspected at 2 per cent, while Dublin City Council and Cork County Council inspected 4 per cent of properties.

Cavan County Council and Monaghan County Council had the highest percentage of inspections with 20 per cent of private dwellings being examined in their areas.

Galway City Council said it was not in a position in 2018 to undertake any additional inspections due to “the loss of staff resources and the gap arising in securing replacement staff”.

“Two additional housing technicians have now been recruited and are assigned to this role with a view to significantly increasing the percentage of private rented inspections in 2019 and 2020,” a spokesman added.

Cork County Council said it formulated an action plan last year in order to ensure it meets its inspection targets.

“The output from this action plan will be seen from 2019 onwards as the additional staff were only recruited and trained towards the end of 2018. The total number of properties inspected in 2018 has already been surpassed by the end of June 2019,” a spokesman for the council said.

The Department of Housing said that under the rental strategy, the objective was to “increase inspection numbers incrementally each year with the aim of achieving a 25 per cent annual inspection coverage rate by 2021”.

“The target for 2018 was 10 per cent but it should be viewed as part of the progression to the achievement of the overall target of 25 per cent,” a spokesman added.

The department provided funding of more than €2 million to local authorities to increase inspections last year, with additional funding being provided each year until 2021.