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RIAI Reiterates Call for ‘Property NCT’ to Foster Culture of Compliance on Housing Standards

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) welcomes assurances from the Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy, that legislation will be introduced to impose tougher sanctions on landlords who are found guilty of putting people's lives in danger with unsafe accommodation.  However, the RIAI believes that in addition to the proposed legalisation there needs to be measures put in place to foster a culture of compliance. The RIAI is calling for a ‘property NCT’ for rental accommodation. 

RIAI spokesperson on housing, John O’Mahony says: “We are reiterating our call for a property NCT approach as we believe it is vital to centralise the various processes of registration, letting and inspection.  The system of enforcement would be based on Smart Regulation principles, where certificates are renewed every four years and displayed in the hallways of properties, providing tenants with details on how to report instances of non-compliance.”

The RIAI is calling for:

  • National Housing Standards which would apply to all housing (both rental accommodation and private dwellings)
  • Inspection, registration and certification of rental accommodation measures
  • Enforcement of Housing Regulations to address existing substandard accommodation
  • A system of planning controls to prevent the continuing and unauthorised development of multi occupancy (‘Pre 63’) housing

In 2009, research by the RIAI in three areas of Dublin city showed that less than 10% of the houses converted to multi occupancy use were authorised by planning permission. Almost 50% of the 325 properties surveyed at the time, like those featured in the RTE programme, were found to be in illegal multi occupancy use.  The RIAI provided its findings to the Dublin City Council Strategic Policy Committee (DCC SPC) on Housing, along with recommendations for adoption. 

In June 2015, a detailed report was completed by a sub-committee of the DCC SPC, in consultation with the RIAI and Threshold, which called for the introduction of a ‘property NCT’ system and a single set of comprehensive housing standards applicable to all housing.

John O’Mahony added: “In March 2008, RTE broadcast a programme on substandard housing almost identical to that recently aired.  Almost ten years later, little has changed. Unless meaningful steps are taken to address the fundamental causes of illegal and uncontrolled development of substandard housing, the most vulnerable elements of the housing rental market will be condemned to continue to suffer these conditions with serious consequences for the health and wellbeing of tenants.”

Categories: Architecture | Housing | Press Releases | RIAI Press Release

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