Tuesday, 15 June 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
566. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of properties registered with each local authority for private renting; and if he has satisfied himself that his Department monitors this correctly. [17613/04]
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. N. Ahern): Information relating to registrations of houses and landlords under the Housing (Registration of Rented Houses) Regulations 1996, based on returns from local authorities, is contained in the quarterly and annual housing statistics bulletins published by my Department. The most recent information is contained in the 2003 annual housing statistics bulletin, which indicated that an overall total of 26,982 units were registered by 17,445 landlords with local authorities on 31 December 2003. My Department considers these registration figures to be accurate as they are extracted from the registers that local authorities are statutorily required to maintain and they relate only to registered units where the registration fee has been paid up to date.
When the Residential Tenancies Bill 2003, currently before Dáil Éireann, is enacted, the 1996 registration regulations will be repealed and landlords will be required to register details of their tenancies with the private residential tenancies board. This board will proactively pursue compliance. One way in which unregistered accommodation will come to the attention of the board will be if the tenants refer disputes pertaining to such tenancies to the board. Unlike tenants, landlords must be registered in order to avail of the board’s dispute resolution service. A double fee will apply to late registrations and penalties for convictions for non-registration are being increased.
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