A local office building provided another alarming indicator of the scarcity of rental property in Dublin.
An ad on Daft.ie offering apartments to let in Crag Avenue Business Park in Clondalkin raised alarm bells this week.
The property, located in a converted office block, consisted of eight bedrooms, five bathrooms and one shared kitchen.
Prospective tenants were told they could share a room for €550 in what appeared from photos to be very cramped conditions.
The contact name given in the ad was Qaiser Khan.
Local TD Eoin O Broin has called for an “urgent inspection” into the advertised apartments.
“Last week 8 apartments on Crag Avenue, Clondalkin were advertised on Daft.ie,” he said.
“The apartments are located in an industrial estate in what appears to be a converted commercial building.
“The add suggests that the unit could hold up to 16 tenants despite having just one small kitchen and toilet.
“There is no record of any change of use planning permission on South Dublin County Council’s web site.
“I have a real concern that this premises has neither planning permission nor the legally required building certificates.
“If this is the case then it is a criminal offence to allow the building to be occupied.”
Anyone wishing to change the use of a property from commercial to residential requires planning permission.
Specific additional requirements must also be satisfied under the building control regulations, which include disability access and fire safety certification.
The regulations also specifically exclude warehouses and buildings for light industrial use.
“I have made formal complaints to both the Director of Planning in South Dublin County Council and Daft.ie.
“Credit to Daft.ie who have removed the listing from their web site.
“I have also made direct contact with the named individuals on the Daft.ie site responsible for the property outlining my concerns and asking him to provide me with planning permission.
“The individual has replied saying he’s fully compliant with the law. It would be extremely unfortunate if these properties are let out only then to be found in breach of planning and building regulations resulting in tenants at risk of homelessness.
“I hope both South Dublin County Council and the Dublin Fire Service deal with the issue speedily.”
Dublin Rental Investigator, an anonymous Twitter account which reports and highlights Dublin’s rental crisis, told Dublin Gazette they are still trying to make contact with the advertiser of the apartments.
“I’ve not been able to get in contact with Qaiser Khan either,” they said.
“There is one other cached rental advert with that name, which may be coincidental, but the phone has been disconnected.
“I have contacted other companies in the estate to see if they have any info but I’m not holding out hope.”
Dublin Gazette contacted SDCC to enquire about the apartments.
A spokesperson told us: “The Council initiated a planning enforcement investigation, immediately that the alleged unauthorised development was brought to its attention.
“Part of this investigation will include an inspection by planning staff who will determine whether such development has occurred.
“In such circumstances, the Council has a variety of powers at its disposal to ensure planning compliance and, if required, the matter may be rectified by Warning Letter or Enforcement Notice.”