What we do
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. We carry out inspections of properties that are managed by an Approved Housing Body (AHB), are part of the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) or are in receipt of the Housing Assistant Payment (HAP). In the case of HAP tenancies once the tenant has registered and begun their tenancy, they will be contacted to arrange an inspection of the dwelling on behalf of South Dublin County Council within the first 8 months unless it was already inspected in the previous 12 months. If the property passes the inspection the next inspection will be in four years (typical inspection cycle) or if a new tenancy begins, whichever is soonest.
Inspection and Enforcement of Private Rented Standards
South Dublin County Council is responsible for enforcing the minimum standards in the South Dublin area. In line with the Government’s 'Housing for All' plan South Dublin County Council is carrying out planned programmes of inspection to ensure South Dublin County Council achieves an annual inspection rate of 25%.
Inspection and enforcement within Private Rented Properties inside the South Dublin local administrative area is the responsibility of South Dublin County Council’s Private Rented Inspections Unit as part of Housing, Social and Community Development directorate. An inspection may be instigated undertaken as part of the HAP, Homeless HAP, or RAS process, or it may be carried out due to a complaint or it may be carried out on a proactive basis.
Every inspection will be undertaken by an authorised person who conducts the inspection on behalf of South Dublin County Council. Global Homes Warranties Ltd. is the current external inspection company.
Where contraventions to the regulations are noted, an Improvement Letter or Improvement Notice may be served. An Improvement Letter and an Improvement Notice details the works to be completed by the landlord within a prescribed time frame. Failure to complete these works may result in an escalation of enforcement proceedings, for example from an Improvement Letter to an Improvement Notice or from an Improvement Notice to a Prohibition Notice and, possibly, legal proceedings being issued in respect of the property.
A prohibition notice is served when the housing authority is of the opinion that a landlord has failed to comply with an improvement notice served on them. The Environmental Health Officer may also consider initiating legal proceedings. The prohibition notice directs the landlord not to re-let the private rented house for rent or other valuable consideration until the contraventions to which the Improvement notice relates have been remedied.
Where a landlord re-lets a private rented house in breach of a prohibition notice, they may be prosecuted and on conviction, may be subject to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, along with a daily fine of €400 for a continuing offence (together with orders for the costs and expenses of the investigation, detection and prosecution of the offence, which may be considerable). To view the list of current prohibition notices served under the Housing (Standards For Rented Houses) Regulations 2019, within South Dublin County Council’s administrative area click here.
Methods of Inspection
An inspection of a private rented property may be either a physical inspection or a virtual inspection.
Physical inspections are standard. The Tenant or Landlord will be contacted either by email, letter, or telephone to arrange an inspection of the private rented property. If the appointment time or date does not suit, please follow the instructions given to reschedule the appointment. The inspector will attend your home during the appointed time to carry out an inspection. Access to all rooms should be provided at the time of the inspection. As part of the inspection, the inspector / authorised person will take notes and photographs. Where contraventions to the Regulations are noted, an Improvement Letter or Improvement Notice may be served. An Improvement Letter and an Improvement Notice details the works to be completed by the landlord within a prescribed time frame. Failure to complete these works may result in an escalation of enforcement proceedings, for example from an Improvement Letter to an Improvement Notice or from an Improvement Notice to a Prohibition Notice and legal proceedings being issued in respect of the property.
There may be occasions when a virtual inspection is undertaken.
The Landlord (or their representative) will be contacted and asked to complete an online survey on the condition of the property – this includes questions from all sections of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019. The Landlord is given six weeks to complete and submit the online form along with the required photographs and documentation. The checklist will be sent via email. Once the Virtual Inspection documentation and photographs are returned, inspector / authorised person assesses the information received. They may seek clarification on the returned documentation. If no contraventions are noted, the inspector / authorised person will contact the tenant to confirm that they have no concerns regarding the condition of their property. If contraventions of the Regulations are noted, an Improvement Letter will be issued to the landlord, detailing the contraventions, and allowing a period within which the contraventions must be attended to. Once the works are completed, the landlord (or their representative) contacts the inspector / authorised person to confirm same. The tenant will be contacted by the inspector / authorised person to confirm that the works have been completed and that they have no further concerns regarding the condition of their property.
As a Quality Control measure, the Private Rented Inspections Unit may conduct random physical verification checks on a selection of properties which were inspected virtually and deemed to be compliant. These inspections are arranged directly with the tenant of the property.
Covid 19 precautions
To prevent the spread of Covid-19 in our communities, please note:
- If you, or anyone in your household, have recently tested positive for Covid-19 or currently have Covid-19 symptoms, please let the inspector / authorised person know prior to them entering the property.
- If you would like the inspector / authorised person to wear a face mask during an inspection, please advise them prior to them entering the property.
- If it is safe to do so, please ensure that good ventilation of the property is maintained during an inspection by opening windows in the property.
- Some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be worn by the inspector / authorised person at the time of the inspection.
- An inspector / authorised person may use hand sanitiser at intervals throughout the inspection and between inspections.
Disputes between Landlords and Tenants
The Private Rented Inspections Unit does not have any remit in Landlord and Tenant disputes and cannot facilitate mediation services between Landlords and Tenants. The Residential Tenancies Board can assist you with this.
The standards for private rented properties are set out in the legislation. The main objective of these regulations is to establish minimum standards in private rented housing to protect the health and well-being of tenants.
The regulations apply to all rented houses (both single and multi-occupancy) let for rent or available for letting with the following exemptions:
- A holiday home.
- Accommodation provided by the Health Service Executive or by an approved body, containing sanitary, cooking or dining facilities provided for communal use within the building.
- A house that is let by a housing authority pursuant to any of their functions under the Housing Acts, 1966 to 2004, and is a demountable house.
Main provisions of the 2019 regulations
Structural Condition – The purpose of this Regulation is to ensure that the rented house is in a proper state of structural repair.
Sanitary Facilities – The purpose of this Regulation relating to Sanitary Facilities is to ensure that each house has exclusive access to its own sanitary facilities and that those facilities are contained within the same habitable area of the house,
Heating Facilities – The purpose of this regulation is to ensure that each habitable room in the house has a fixed appliance or appliances, which can provide effective heating.
Food Preparation & Storage and Laundry – This regulation requires that each house be provided with adequate facilities for the hygienic storage, preparation and cooking of food. Each house shall have sole and exclusive access to these facilities within the same habitable area of the house and except for laundry facilities, sharing of these facilities between different lettings (houses) is not permitted.
Ventilation – The purpose of Regulation 8 is to ensure that all houses are adequately ventilated and that all means of ventilation is maintained in good repair and working order.
Lighting – Regulation 9 ensures that all habitable rooms have natural lighting and that all rooms have an adequate means of artificial lighting. It is not necessary under the Regulations that halls, stairs, and landings have natural lighting, but they should have adequate artificial lighting.
Fire Safety – Regulation 10 provides for improved fire safety measures in rented accommodation. It distinguishes between houses in multi-unit buildings and houses not forming part of a multi-unit building.
Refuse Facilities – This Regulation requires that each house must have access to suitable pest and vermin-proof refuse storage facilities.
Gas, Oil and Electricity – Regulation 12 provides that all gas, oil, and electricity installations be maintained in good repair and safe working order.
Information – Adequate information must be provided to the tenant so that they can safely utilise the rented property.
If you are living in a private rented property, The Landlord is obliged to provide a “rent book” (or other documentation serving the same purpose) at the commencement of a tenancy. This applies to dwellings rented by private landlords, voluntary bodies, local authorities, and employers. This does not include situations where you are renting a room within the landlords’ home.
Information required in a rent book:
- Name and address of landlord and the agent (where applicable)
- Term of tenancy
- Amount of rent and any other payments to be made by the tenant to the landlord.
- Details of any advance rent or deposit paid.
- Date of commencement of tenancy
- Particulars of furnishings and appliances provided by the landlord for the tenants’ exclusive use.
The requirement to provide a rent book is set down under
- Housing (Rent Books) Regulations 1993
- Housing (Rent Books) Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2004)
- Housing (Rent Books) Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2010)
- (Made under Section 17) of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2019
- Guidelines for housing authorities - Minimum standards in rented accommodation 2021
Private Rented Inspections Unit
South Dublin County Council
Tallaght Dublin 24
+353 1 4149153
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage gov.ie - Contact the Dept. of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (www.gov.ie)
Residential Tenancies Board www.rtb.ie
Threshold - National Housing Organisation www.threshold.ie or free phone 1800 454 454
Focus Ireland www.focusireland.ie
Citizens Information www.citizensinformation.ie/en/
Health Services Executive www.hse.ie
Housing Assistance Payment www.hap.ie
Condensation & Mould https://www.sdcc.ie/en/download-it/publications/condensation-advice.pdf