Thursday, January 31 14:50:54
New laws governing the standards of residential rental accommodation standards come into effect from today with fines of up to E5,000 and imprisonment.
The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland said that the new regulations effectively ban shared bathrooms and landlord-controlled heating systems in rented properties.
The SCSI said the four year grace period pertaining to certain provisions in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008, has now expired and this means that rental properties must be upgraded to meet the new standards.
Siobhan O'Dwyer, Chair of the Property and Facilities Management Professional Group of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) said; "the new housing standards dictate that from February 1st, rental properties are required to have separate bathrooms, independently controlled heating appliances, adequate food preparation and storage facilities and access to laundry facilities. It is important that both tenants and landlords are fully informed about the new regulations".
The SCSI said that the purpose of the Housing Regulations is to improve living conditions, particularly for those renting pre-1963 units.
Ms. O'Dwyer said that the average cost of upgrading units to the required standards was likely to vary, but significant expenditure could be envisaged. She recommended that tenants or landlords with questions should contact their local authority or the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government for further information on the new standards.
"The penalties for non-compliance with the Regulations are a fine of E5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, and the fine for each day of a continuing offence is E400. Clearly it is in landlord's interests to ensure their rental accommodation meets the new standards," O'Dwyer concluded.