Less than 4% of all privately rented houses and apartments in Cork city and county were inspected last year.
New figures show that just 1,375 out of more than 35,000 tenancies in Cork which are registered with the Residential Tenancies Board were visited by environmental health officers during 2016.
There are approximately 17,500 private rental accommodation units in both the city and county administrative areas.
Figures published by the National Oversight and Audit Commission — a body established to provide independent scrutiny of the performance of local authorities — show 3.5% of such properties in the city and 4.3% of properties in the county were inspected last year. The national average was 4.4% with just over 13,600 inspections carried out on a total of 311,000 registered tenancies.
The Government has set an inspection rate target of 25% by 2021 amid concerns of overcrowding and related fire safety issues which were highlighted in a recent Prime Time Investigates documentary on RTÉ.
The NOAC figures show only 3% of tenancies inspected by officials from Cork County Council last year were compliant with building standards, with 733 out of 756 homes failing to pass inspection.
In Cork City, 72% of properties inspected did not comply with regulations. Only 174 out of 619 dwellings inspected were in compliance. Nationally, three-quarters of all tenancies inspected last year were in breach of regulations for private rented accommodation.
Every privately rented dwelling inspected in Offaly, Louth and Kilkenny was in breach of regulations, while more than 90% of properties in Limerick, Carlow, Co Galway, Co Cork, Wexford and Clare failed inspections.
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