Tenants need more protection - Majority of landlords fail test

TWO reports, one worrying the other shaming, confirmed what we already know yesterday.

One, from auctioneers Sherry FitzGerald warned that there is “increasing evidence of a market in crisis” as property available for buyers fell to a record low. The company pointed out that the average value of residential property rose 3.5% in the 12 months to the end of March. General inflation for that period was 0.40% — a ninth of the rate of housing inflation — so something is terribly out of kilter.

This causes all sorts of difficulties but the report given to Cork County Council showed that the vast majority of rental properties inspected by the council failed to meet basic Government standards must cause some outrage. Of 559 private rental properties inspected last year 524 failed to meet the required standard. It gets worse. Only one of the 179 properties vetted under the Housing Assistance Payment scheme passed muster. This is a terrible indictment of landlords who offer below par properties to tenants who, because of our housing shortage, have little or no choice, no security of tenure or protection from rent increase that bare no relationship to wages or the rate of inflation.

Speaking about the housing crisis last week outgoing Environment Minister Alan Kelly said we need to review legislation that gives absolute protection to property rights. This damning report confirms that.


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