On 1stJuly 2017 new standards were introduced under the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017to ensure that rental properties provide tenants with a safe and healthy environment to live in.
These standards are in addition to the minimum standards already in existence.
Landlords must also comply with the Fire Services Acts (1981 and 2003).Your Local Authority is responsible for enforcing these minimum standards and as a Landlord you could be prosecuted if you fail to comply with same.
The following is a guide to the minimumand newstandards that apply to rented residential accommodation which for the purposes of this article will focus on dwelling houses only:
– The building must be free from damp and in good structural repair;
– There must be hot and cold water available to the tenants;
– The building must have adequate ventilation and heating which the tenants can control;
– All appliances must be in good working order and a four ring hob, oven, grill, fridge, freezer and microwave oven must be provided;
– Electrical wiring, gas and water pipes should be in good repair. Where necessary a carbon monoxide alarm should be fitted;
– There must be access to a fire blanket, fire detection and alarm system;
– There must be suitable safety restrictors attached to a window which has an opening through which a person may fall and the bottom of the opening is more than 1400mm above the external ground level. Suitable safety restrictors must secure the window efficiently to prevent such falls. Lockable restrictors that can only be released by removable keys or other tools should not be fitted to window opening sections;
– Each bathroom/shower room should contain a permanently fixed heater that is properly maintained. The room should be properly ventilated;
– There must be access to refuse bins;
– Efforts must be made to prevent infestation of pests and vermin.
A guidance document isalso available from the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Governmentto all Landlords entitled “Guide to Fire Safety in Flats, Bedsitsand Apartments”for multi-unitrental properties.
Any queries may also be addressed to the Residential Tenancies Board if required.
Be informed – know the law