Figures published by the National Oversight and Audit Commission detailing inspections of private rented dwellings in Cork City seem to confirm our delusional enthusiasm for enacting legislation but not enforcing it. The figures show that only 698 of 16,997 registered tenancies under the council’s remit were inspected in 2018 — just 4.1%. Of those 80.4% did not meet the required standards for rental accommodation.
In human rather than statistical terms this means that the great majority of those renting a home probably live in sub-standard conditions underlining why there is so little enthusiasm for the idea of being a tenant for life.
In an effort to counteract this, Cork City Council is to spend up to €3.5m to privatise inspections of private rented dwellings. This seems a counter-intuitive, going-through-the-motions exercise. Far better to have the kind of enforcement that would weed out rogue landlords and help create a culture of viable, reliable tenancies. It also seems a disheartening admission that a local authority must contract out what is essentially an important exercise in social protection.