Landlords to be persued for not registering property with PRTB

Author Jamie Smyth. The Irish Times. Monday 4th July 2011.

THE GOVERNMENT will today announce a crackdown on landlords who are not keeping their properties up to standard or registering with the authorities.

The Private Residential Tenancies Board – the State body set up to regulate the rental sector – wrote to 1,400 non-compliant landlords last Friday threatening them with prosecution for not registering with its register of tenancies.

The board will brief its solicitors tomorrow with a view to bringing criminal prosecutions against landlords, who despite being notified, fail to register.

As part of the Government’s strategy, Minister for Housing Willie Penrose will also allocate €4 million today to local authorities to enable them to conduct inspections of private rented accommodation.

It is estimated about 20,000 local authority inspections will be conducted in 2011. They will check that all rented houses, apartments and flats comply with the national standards such as being in a good state of structural repair, absent from damp and have safe ventilation, heating and gas supplies.

Last year the State allocated €5.6 million to local authorities, which enabled them to conduct 21,614 inspections of private rented dwellings. Financial pressures mean this year’s allocation to fund inspections is less.

Almost 20,000 rented properties were inspected in 2009, and one in five of those did not meet the statutory minimum standards.

The Government, together with the tenancies board, is undertaking a major initiative to ensure that landlords are signed up to the register to make it easier to inspect and regulate properties.

It is prioritising an investigation into unregistered landlords, who have tenants that claim about €500 million in rent supplement from the State every year.

Using a new information technology system the board is cross-checking its records with those of the Department of Social Protection to ensure welfare payments are not going to unregistered landlords. The investigation has so far found that up to 40 per cent of landlords in receipt of rent supplement may not be registered with the board’s register of tenancies.

Minister for Housing Willie Penrose told The Irish Times yesterday it was “highly unfair” to all good and responsible landlords that a large minority of landlords are flouting their legal obligation to register with the board. He said he was committed to ensuring the money is only paid in respect of good quality accommodation and legally compliant landlords.

“I will be encouraging the board to use the full extent of their legal powers to pursue those landlords that persist in not registering, via legal proceedings and prosecution if necessary,” he said.

The board has issued eight summons for landlords to appear in court later this month for non registration, which is punishable with a criminal conviction of up to six months in prison or a hefty fine.

In the past six months, the tenancies board has secured seven criminal convictions against landlords who failed to register. The court imposed fines of up to the maximum of €3,000, costs of up to €2,100 and up to 35 days imprisonment in the event of default in relation to the offence of not registering with the board.

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Property Letting and Management

Dublinlettings.com provide residential lettings, residential property management, rent collection, property valuation. Based in Dublin 8 we cover all areas of Dublin, north south and west. We urgently require new properties as we have high demand from our quality tenants who are vetted and ready to let your property. We require vacant properties across Dublin. Contact us now to get our full letting and management package special.

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Ireland has lowest flat-dwelling in EU !

Ireland has the lowest level of flat dwelling of any country in the European Union, according to research published today.
The Eurostat housing report, which dates from 2009, shows just 3.7 per cent of people in Ireland live in flats or apartments, compared to an EU average of 42 per cent.
In Ireland, 39.1 per cent of people live in detached houses, 57.6 per cent live in semi-detached or terraced houses and 3.1 per cent are in flats or apartments.
Ireland also has one of the lowest overcrowding rates in the EU, with 3.7 per cent, compared to an average of 17.8 per cent.
The research also shows that 13 per cent homes in Ireland are damp, below the EU average of 16 per cent. Some 5.6 per cent of people regard their accommodation as too dark, 0.3 per cent have no toilet and 0.6 per cent have no shower or bath.
Over the 27 EU countries, some 42 per cent of the population lived in a flat or apartments, 34 per cent in a detached house and 23 per cent in a semi-detached or terraced house.
Flats are most common in Latvia, detached houses in Slovenia and semi-detached houses in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

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Property Management and Lettings legislation

We would be very interessted in knowing which of the political parties support giving effect to the NPRSA and allowing it to properly regulate the property letting and management industry

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Property Services (Regulation) Bill 2009

We were unhappy to read that the above named bill may not become legislation before the finish of the existing dail term. In our estimation this is important legislation required to regulate the property management and lettings business in the state. For far too long there have been rogue property managers and letting agents who act in an improper manner towards their clients whether they be landlords or tenants. Such property agents have given those who act in good faith a bad name in the eyes of the general public. Proper legislation such as this should weed out such practices in the Letting and Management business bringing with it proper provision for academic qualifications for all members of this profession.  The following exerpt was taken from the Irish Times property section 6th January 2011. “PLANS to regulate the property industry, promised for the past five years, as well as the setting up of a national house price register, may collapse in the next two months. However, management agents will remain unlicensed if the Property Services Bill is not passed. If the bill does not make it across the finish line before an election, plans to license and regulates auctioneers, letting agents and management agents will fall. The role of the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) – a body set up five years ago but which will have no teeth until the Bill is passed – will be called into question.”

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Christmas 2010 Property Management Arrangements

TENANT IMPORTANT NOTICE

Dear Tenant,

Every Christmas holiday period, problems arise which can be avoided. Emergency call outs are expensive and where the fault lies with the occupier so does the cost.

IF YOU ARE LEAVING YOUR PROPERTY FOR A FEW DAYS/ PERIOD OF TIME:

1.     Turn off the water at the mains/stop cock, even if you are away for 2 days, AS PIPES CAN FREEZEZ, ESPECIALLY IN RECENT WEATHER CONDITIONS.

2.     Ensure all windows and doors are shut correctly.

3.     Set your alarm (where applicable), and wait to confirm it is set up correctly. If there are any power faults over the period, your alarm may go off. It is imperative that you have arranged either a neighbour or someone you trust what to do in that event.

4.     Leave a key with a neighbour/or friend, or at least a contact No. Of a key holder who is available while you are away.

5.     Unplug all necessary appliances, timers etc.

6.  If you are travelling a long distance and have no one to leave a 

Key with, you must inform our office in writing.

OUR OFFICE WILL CLOSE WEDNESDAY 22nd DECEMBER 2010 UNTIL TUESDAY 4th JANUARY 2011:

IF AN EMERGENCY ARISES DURING THE HOLIDAY PERIOD [USUALLY PLUMBING OR ELECTRICAL]

CALL THE MAIN OFFICE LINE AT 01 402 0066 WAIT FOR OPTION NO: 3- MANAGED TENANT, THEN REPORT YOUR PROBLEM

DO NOT E MAIL ANY EMERGENCY

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all our staff at dublinlettings.com.

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