97% Of Clare Private Rental Inspections Since 2016 ‘Non Compliant’ With Regulations

More than 97 percent of inspections on private rental properties carried out in Clare since 2016 were deemed ‘non compliant’ with housing regulations.

A Clare FM investigation has found many houses being rented in this county have poor structural conditions, inadequate ventilation and don’t meet fire safety standards.



Figures obtained following a Freedom of Information request show of the 3,000 inspections of private rental properties undertaken by Clare County Council here in the last five years, just 80 were found to be meeting minimum housing standards.

135 virtual and physical inspections were undertaken by the local authority in this county between January and March of this year, with only five deemed to be ‘compliant’.

Poor structural conditions is the most common reason properties did not meet required standards, along with inadequate ventilation, fire safety measures and heating facilities.

One improvement letter sent to a landlord in this county, seen by Clare FM, describes a “hole in the ceiling” of a property, with its rear having “no divide between the house and next door butcher shop”.

Another describes a ‘dry rot’ on a property’s stairs, with another having mould throughout the house and a radiator having come off the wall.

Follow ups to improvement letters are rare, with just one improvement notice issued by the local authority since 2016, while no prohibition notices or legal action has been taken on foot of a failed inspection.

Clare County Council has set a target of 1,025 properties – around a fifth of the county’s total stock – to be inspected this year, though elected representatives have repeatedly raised concern at whether this number will be met in recent months.

Statement from Clare County Council

‘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.

The Residential Tenancies Board is the statutory body responsible for the operation of the national registration system for all residential tenancies and for all tenancies provided in the Approved Housing Body Sector.

The Housing Acts 1966 to 2014 allocate responsibility to local authorities to carry out inspections of all private rented properties registered with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to ensure they comply with the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations, 2019 (S.I. 137 of 2019).

Local Authorities are set an annual target of inspections. In recent years Clare County Council inspection targets have been severely impacted by Covid-19.

The Government’s ‘Housing for All’ Strategy has set out objectives to increase the number of inspections undertaken incrementally each year. In 2022, it is anticipated that we will inspect 20% of all private rented properties registered with the RTB, with circa 5551 tenancies currently registered in the county.

On a yearly basis, Clare County Council compiles a list of properties for our inspection programme in accordance with the annual target.

Where properties do not meet the standard for rental accommodation as set out in the regulations, the Council issues an ‘Improvement Letter’ setting out the works required to meet the standards under the various sections of the regulations, i.e. Structural Condition, Sanitary Facilities, Heating Facilities, Food Preparation, Storage & Laundry, Ventilation, Lighting, Fire Safety, Refuse Facilities, Gas, Oil & Electricity.

Clare County Council continues to submit quarterly and annual reports outlining our findings and results to the Housing Rental Standards Unit at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.’

You can hear more on this on Clare FM’s Morning Focus, this Monday, from 9am