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Minimum Standards for Private Rented Accommodation

Minimum Standards for Private Rented Accommodation

Minimum Requirements for Private Rented Accommodation

South Dublin County Council is dedicated to improving the living standards of tenants in private rented housing in the South Dublin County Council area. This is done through the inspection of private rented properties. These inspections are carried out on a proactive basis and in response to complaints from members of the public.

Your landlord has a legal obligation to make sure that your home meets certain minimum physical standards. In general, the standards apply to dwellings rented from private landlords, local authorities and approved housing bodies. However, they do not apply to communal housing being let by the HSE or an approved housing body.

Your landlord has a legal obligation to make sure that your home meets certain minimum physical standards. These standards are set out in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017. These Regulations replace the earlier Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 and the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) (Amendment) Regulations 2009.

They also add new requirements, which came into effect on 1 July 2017 – see ‘Extra requirements from July 2017’ below.

Details of Minimum Standards

For each apartment, flat or house being rented as a separate unit, the landlord must ensure that the rental property is in a proper state of structural repair. The Regulations require the landlord to maintain the property in a sound state, inside and out. They specify that roofs, roofing tiles, slates, windows, floors, ceilings, walls, stairs, doors, skirting boards, fascia’s, tiles on any floor, ceiling and wall, gutters, down pipes, fittings, furnishings, gardens and common areas must be maintained in good condition and repair. They must not be defective due to dampness or otherwise.

The landlord must ensure that electricity or gas supplies are safe and in good repair, and that every room has adequate ventilation and both natural and artificial lighting.

Laundry, food preparation and food storage

Regulation 7 requires private landlords to provide access to:

  • A washing machine
  • A clothes-dryer if the dwelling does not have a private garden or yard

They must also provide facilities for cooking and for the hygienic storage of food, to include the following:

  • 4-ring hob with oven and grill
  • Cooker hood or extractor fan
  • Fridge and freezer, or a fridge-freezer
  • Microwave oven
  • Kitchen cupboards that are suitable and adequate for storing food
  • Sink with mains water supply, hot water and draining area

For dwellings rented from South Dublin County Council and approved housing bodies, the relevant requirements are in Article 7 of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 1993. This Article requires the landlord to provide facilities for:

  • Installation of cooking equipment with provision, where necessary, for the safe and effective removal of fumes
  • Hygienic storage of food

Other requirements

All landlords must provide:

  • A sink with hot and cold water
  • A separate room, for the exclusive use of each rented unit, with a toilet, a washbasin and a fixed bath or shower with hot and cold water
  • A fixed heating appliance in each room, which is capable of providing effective heating and which the tenant can control
  • A fire blanket and smoke alarms
  • Access to vermin-proof and pest-proof refuse storage facilities

In multi-unit buildings, the landlord must provide each unit with a mains-wired smoke alarm; a fire blanket; and an emergency evacuation plan. There must also be emergency lighting in common areas.

Extra requirements from July 2017

With effect from 1 July 2017, when the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017 came into force, landlords must ensure that:

Windows that are located above a certain height are fitted with safety restrictors, in order to prevent falls
There is a permanently fixed heater in each bathroom/shower room and these heaters are properly ventilated and maintained
Each dwelling contains, where necessary, carbon monoxide detectors and alarms, which must be suitably located.

Inspections and Enforcement

South Dublin County Council (in our role as a housing authority) is responsible for enforcing these minimum standards in the South Dublin County Council area.

If you are a tenant and you believe your rented property does not comply with minimum standards, you should discuss this with the landlord, whether you are renting from a private landlord, South Dublin County Council or a housing association.  If you and your landlord cannot resolve this informally, you should contact the RTB for more information on your rights and responsibilities.

If the property is below the minimum standards and the landlord refuses to carry out repairs as required you can ask South Dublin County Council to carry out an inspection and make the landlord comply with the standards where necessary.

Failure to comply with the minimum standards can result in penalties and prosecution. South Dublin County Council can issue Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices to landlords who breach the minimum standards regulations. An Improvement Notice sets out the works that the landlord must carry out to remedy a breach of the regulations. If the landlord does not do these works, South Dublin County Council may issue a Prohibition Notice, directing the landlord not to re-let the property until the breach of the regulations has been rectified.

Where to Apply

Contact Us: rtbinspections@sdublincoco.ie

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Disclaimer

The information, which is provided, is for advisory purposes only and does not purport to be a definitive and/or legal interpretation of housing standards and cannot be read as such. The pages contained in this section may contain inaccuracies. The pages contained in this section may be updated from time to time, but we do not accept any responsibility for keeping the information up-to-date nor any liability for any failure to do so.

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