New rental accommodation regulations came into force at the start of this month with the view of improving the safety and quality of rental properties in Ireland.
Under the new regulations, some landlords will be required to install extra safety features in rented properties.
Amongst the updates are that properties must have self-contained bathrooms, eliminating bed-sits once and for all, and all properties must have microwaves and cookers.
Fire blankets, carbon monoxide alarms and proper ventilation must also be provided.
The new rules also start that windows higher up the building must have safety features to stop people falling out.
Amongst the key changes are:
Bedsits still restricted
2008 regulations first attempted to remove bedsits from the rental market by stating that all all flats must have their own bathroom, food prep areas and self-controlled heating appliances.
Current Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said recently that he would consider bringing back bedsits if “if we can get it right and get the standards right”, however the new rules mean that bedsits are still restricted.
Fire Safety changes
Every rented home must now be equipped with a fire blanket and “suitable self-contained fire detection and alarm system.”
Self contained homes in multi-unit buildings such as apartment blocks must also have their own fire alarms and fire escape plans, with emergency lighting provided in common areas of the buildings.
Air Quality control
All homes required to have a carbon monoxide alarm under the new rules.
Every room has to have proper ventilation, with ventilation systems in kitchens and bathrooms to remove water vapour.
Kitchens that you can cook in
Landlords must provide their tenants with; a ring hob with oven and grill, a microwave, a cooker hood or extractor fan, a fridge and freezer, a sink with potable water and enough presses for food storage.
You’re also entitled to a working washing machine or communal washing facilities, and if there’s no outside are to dry clothes, landlords have to provide either a dryer or access to dryer facilities.
Homes must have a supply of both cold and hot water in a fixed bath or shower.
You’re also legally entitled to a “water closet” type bathroom, with access to a toilet and sink.
Responsibility for dealing with vermin has now been moved from tenant to landlord, which means that landlords must now handle extermination of mice or rats if found in a home.
New safety measures mean that windows sitting more than 1.4m above the ground must have features installed which limits the size of the opening to prevent people falling from large windows.