92% of HAP properties in Cork city failed inspection 

80% of these HAP properties failed again on their second inspection, and 34% still failed to meet required standards on a third inspection
92% of HAP properties in Cork city failed inspection 

Specifically, cited issues included those involving smoke alarms and fire blankets, servicing of boilers, bathroom extractor fans, and wall and window ventilation.

A TOTAL of 92% of HAP properties inspected on behalf of Cork City Council since the end of 2021 failed to meet required standards.

According to a question submitted to the Council Executive by Sinn Féin councillor Eolan Ryng, more than nine out of ten HAP properties did not pass inspection.

80% of these HAP properties failed again on their second inspection, and 34% still failed to meet required standards on a third inspection.

The figures relate to landlords who are in receipt of HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) from their tenants, whose properties were inspected between Q4 2021 to Q2 2022.

3,018 HAP properties were inspected in this time, by a private firm contracted by the City Council to conduct inspections and work with the Private Rental Inspection Unit.

Niall Ó Donnabháin, Director of Services in the City Council’s Housing Department, said that the main reasons for properties failing inspections were over fire safety concerns, problems with gas, oil and electricity, and ventilation issues.

Specifically, cited issues included those involving smoke alarms and fire blankets, servicing of boilers, bathroom extractor fans, and wall and window ventilation.

'ALARMING'

Councillor Eolan Ryng said that the high failure rate for HAP properties was “alarming”, and queried as to whether inspection failures have led to HAP landlords exiting the rental market.

Responding to Councillor Ryng’s query at a City Council meeting on Monday, Mr Ó Donnabháin confirmed that there has been an upturn in the number of notices to quit being issued by landlords.

“There has been an upturn in notices to quit, and it’s not a nice trend to be having to deal with, but we must deal with it accordingly,” he said, adding that there has also been a drop in the number of new HAP tenancies created in the last year.

Mr Ó Donnabháin said that the increase in notices to quit may be an example of “the unintended consequences of approaching rental standards in the way we are, in a more co-ordinated way across the board”.

The Director of Services said that many of the issues identified are small and easily addressed, and that the council are working with all landlords to ensure that an inspection failure does not automatically mean a landlord must remove the property from the rental market.

“A lot of issues identified here are quite basic, and don’t take a huge amount of time to give effect to… We are working with the landlords to try and ensure that it's not seen as a means of exit,” he said.

“We try to work with everybody the same way, to keep everybody in the private rental game as best as we can,” he added.

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