Minimum Standards in Private Rented Accommodation
The quality of rental accommodation is critical to the success and sustainability of the residential rental sector and to its attractiveness as a long-term accommodation option for households. Residential rental properties must provide safe, efficient, durable, comfortable and environmentally sustainable homes for those who live in them. They must also be solid, stable and secure investments for those who own them.
Landlords are legally required to provide tenants with a property that provides a safe and healthy environment to live in. That means regularly reviewing the condition of the property and carrying out repairs when needed. Landlords are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the dwelling and the equipment provided with it, arising from the wear and tear associated with normal use.
Tenants must also take responsibility for the property. They are required to exercise due care when using the dwelling and the equipment in it and to promptly inform the landlord when repairs are needed. Tenants are responsible for the repair of damage, either accidental or deliberate, that is not attributable to normal use.
Housing Authorities are responsible, through inspection, for determining whether a property meets the standards for rental accommodation and, where the property does not, for ensuring compliance through the use of improvement and prohibition notices and legal proceedings. Landlords and tenants are required to allow the Housing Authority access to the property to undertake inspections.
As a landlord you have a legal obligation to ensure that your rental home meets certain minimum physical standards. These standards are set out in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019
Minimum Standards include:
- The property must be free from damp and in good structural repair.
- Hot and cold water must be available to the tenant.
- Adequate heating and ventilation must be provided.
- All appliances should be in good working order.
- Electrical wiring, gas and water pipes are required to be in good repair.
- Facilities for cooking preparation, storage of food and laundry including a 4 ring hob, oven and grill, fridge and freezer or fridge freezer and microwave oven must be provided.
- Fire blanket and fire detection and alarm systems.
- Access to refuse storage facilities.
- Where there is no access to a yard / garden, access to communal laundry facilities must be provided
- Windows above a certain height are fitted with safety restrictors, in order to prevent falls.
- All rooms intended for use as a habitable room, including bathroom and shower-room shall contain a permanently fixed heating appliance/system capable of providing effective heat.
- Each dwelling contains, where necessary, carbon monoxide detectors and alarms, which must be suitably located.
- Efforts must be made to prevent the infestation of vermin and pests.
- In multi-unit buildings, there must be a fire detection and alarm system, an emergency evacuation plan and emergency lighting in common areas. It is important that fire safety equipment is maintained.
- Information must be provided to tenants on the property, building services, appliances and their maintenance requirements.
Inspections and Enforcement
Wexford County Council is responsible for enforcing these minimum standards in its Administrative area. In line with the Government’s Strategy for the Rental Sector Wexford County Council is carrying out planned programmes of inspections to ensure it achieves an annual inspection rate of 25% by 2021.
Failure to comply with the minimum standards may result in penalties and prosecution. Wexford County Council may issue Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices to landlords who breach the minimum standards regulations. An Improvement Notice sets out the works that the landlord must carry out to remedy a breach of the Regulations. If the landlord does not do these works, Wexford County Council may issue a Prohibition Notice, directing the landlord not to re-let the property until the breach of the regulations has been rectified.
If you have concerns regarding the standard of your private rented accommodation you can request a standards inspection by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The following websites provide further assistance and details on Private Rented Standards: