By Suzanne Pender
DAMP, mouldy homes without heating or insulation leaving families distressed and vulnerable children sick “all happening under our watch.”
Cllr Andrea Dalton made an impassioned plea to Carlow Co Council to step up their inspections of rental accommodation, having encountered numerous local properties well-below standard.
“This week alone I’ve had five people living in appalling situations in rented accommodation … no heating, damp, mould, their children are sick … places that not one of us here would live in,” she told last week’s meeting of Carlow Co Council.
Cllr Dalton remarked that when you consider the average rent in Carlow town is currently €950 per month, landlords must “surely provide some minimal standard.”
“Children who are sick week-in, week-out because of where they are living … and this is happening under our watch,” stated cllr Dalton.
“I had five reps alone this week, one more horrifying than the next. I know you will say that Carlow Co Council has carried out their inspections, but this is not acceptable and we are not addressing the problem,” she insisted.
“There is a huge onus on us to ensure homes are up to standard, it’s upsetting to see where some people are living and rents only getting higher,” cllr Dalton said,
Director of services for housing Michael Brennan stated that the council had carried out 91% of their quota of house inspections on private rented accommodation in 2020, this equated to 804 inspections.
“I am concerned by the points raised by cllr Dalton. We do expect decent accommodation for people,” he stated. Mr Brennan asked cllr Dalton to send him details of the properties she referred to and he’d “arrange to have them inspected.”.