One-third cut in funding for rental inspections

Funding to support inspections of rental properties has been reduced by almost a third in recent years.

Figures provided by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy confirm that funding to the local authorities to conduct inspections fell from €2.4m in 2012 to €1.7m last year.

The drop in support came despite the fact standards in rental accommodation were seen to be at a new low — there is huge pressure on the sector and a lack of units for tenants.

The figures were provided in a written parliamentary answer to Fianna Fáil TD John Curran.

They show local authorities are getting less funding on an annual basis to ensure rental accommodation is maintained at acceptable living standards.

The figures show, over the five years from 2012 to the end of 2016, a total of €10.31m was provided to local authorities for inspection purposes: €2.4m in 2012, €2.31m in 2013, €2.02m in 2014, €1.88m in 2015 and €1.7m in 2016.

Responding to Mr Curran in the written parliamentary answer, Mr Murphy indicated that inspection funding would increase in the years ahead.

“The rental strategy recognises the need for additional resources to be provided to local authorities to aid increased inspections of properties and ensure greater compliance with the regulations,” states Mr Murphy in his parliamentary reply.

“Provision has been made to commence this process in 2018, when €2.5m in funding will be provided, with the intention of providing further increases each year in the period to 2021, by which point it is envisaged that €10m will be provided annually, so as to achieve an inspection coverage of 25% of rental properties annually.”

The reduced use of funds in recent years comes amid concern about standards and a recent RTÉ documentary which exposed overcrowding and dangerous conditions for some tenants.

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