Landlords of residential rental properties will have certain obligations to comply with as of 1 July 2017 to ensure that their rental properties meet certain minimum standards as set out in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017, (“the Regulations”). While many properties may comply with the regulations, it is important that landlords check their rental properties prior to 1 July 2017 to ensure they meet the minimum standards, detailed below, which a tenant is entitled to have.
The regulations specify that the house must be maintained in a proper state of structural repair, which includes sound, internally and externally, with a roof, roofing tiles and slates, windows, floors, ceilings, walls, stairs, doors, skirting boards, fascia, tiles on any floor, ceiling and wall, gutters, down pipes, fittings, furnishings, gardens and common areas maintained in good condition and repair and not defective due to dampness or otherwise.
These regulations also impose an obligation on all landlords that there are suitable safety restrictions for all windows.
This is a continuous obligation on landlords and regular checks should be carried out by them to ensure full compliance with the regulations.
There must be, for the exclusive use of the house, a water closet with dedicated wash hand basins with a continuous supply of cold water and a facility for the piped supply of hot water. There must also be a fixed bath or shower with continuous supply of cold water and a facility for a piped supply of hot water.
The landlord is also under an obligation to ensure that the sanitary facilities are maintained in a safe condition and are in good working order, have safe and effective means of drainage and must be properly insulated. The sanitary facilities must also be provided in a room completely separate from other rooms by a wall and a door and containing separate ventilation.
Every room used by a tenant of a house as a habitable room and any bathroom or shower room must have a permanently fixed heat emitter, heat distribution system or heat producing appliance.
Every room must contain suitable and adequate facilities for the safe and effective removal of fumes and other products of combustion to the external air where heat producing appliances are used. Every house must contain, where necessary, suitably located devices for the detection and alarm of carbon monoxide.
The regulations also stipulate basic requirements in relation to food preparation, storage and laundry, ventilation, lighting, fire safety, refuse facilities and gas, oil and electricity installations. They clarify that it is the responsibility of the landlord to maintain these facilities for tenants.
At this time, landlords should arrange access to their property, in compliance with the terms of the letting agreement, and carry out an assessment of their rental properties to ensure they are fully compliant with the standards of the regulations.
Gillian Butler is a conveyancing and commercial solicitor at Keating Connolly Sellors and regularly advises both private and commercial clients. If you are a landlord or tenant and wish to learn more about how you may be effected by the new regulations, contact Gillian at [email protected] or 061 414 355 or 061 432 316.
The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We advise people to always seek specific expert advice for their individual circumstances.