Independent Dun Laoghaire senator, Victor Boyhan is calling on local councils to be held more accountable for the standards they hold on private sector landlords’ properties.
Speaking in the Seanad last week, Senator Boyhan said that “local authorities randomly inspect the properties of private sector landlords. Who is keeping an eye on the local authorities, however?
“People with young children have come to me because they have mildew on the walls of their residence.
“They have been told to go out and buy a bottle of bleach by the local authorities and those people have that in writing, by the way. They were told they had to ventilate their residences better, use bleach and take the mould off the walls.”
Senator Boyhan said that more transparency is needed regarding housing maintenance.
“People across the country, are living in appalling accommodation which is part of our social housing stock.
“Who is monitoring that situation? This is an important issue because tenants often fear that continuing to harass the local authority about the poor standards of their accommodation will result in some sort of rancour, to the detriment of a transfer or move to another property.
“It is not acceptable for local authorities to be acting as judges and juries in their own causes,” he said.
Boyhan says that local authorities “are failing on a whole range of fronts and we need to monitor them because no actor currently has responsibility ain that area.”
Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly TD (FG), who was standing in for Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, said that such complaints should be made to the Office of the Ombudsman and no authority currently holds the necessary responsibility.
Speaking to Dublin Gazette, Senator Boyhan says proper maintenance in housing stock is an issue that continues to arise
“I believe that the same standards for the Private Rental Sector should apply to Local Authority housing stock.
“I have received numerous complaints from Local Authority Tenants complaining of sub-standard accommodation, lack of adequate ventilation, mil-dew and mould on the walls including damp – this should not have to be tolerated by any tenant private or public,” he said.
“It is my intention to continue to advocate for an independent inspectorate to ensure high standards are maintained for social housing stock”.