My motion at yesterday’s Full Council Meeting, ‘That the council outline the role of an Environmental Health Officer report and the protocol for acting on a report when it highlights issues with council accommodation.
Here is the report issued by: Tadhg McDonnell, Director of Services, Housing and Corporate Services; Kildare County Council has a service level agreement with the Environmental Health services of the HSE to carry out functions on behalf of Kildare County Council across a number of council departments, including Housing. In relation to Housing the EHOs provide a service to inspect private rented accommodation, including properties rented under the RAS and HAP schemes. Where issues of non-compliance with the current private rented standards are identified the council issues a notice to the landlord, in accordance with the appropriate legislation, outlining the issues to be addressed.
Legislation governing the above includes the following:
Housing Acts 1966 – 2009
Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008
Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) (Amendment) Regulations 2009
Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992
In addition, the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government has recently published new regulations on minimum standards for rented accommodation entitled the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2107, which come into force on 1 July 2017. These regulations do not apply to a local authority carrying out its functions as a housing authority. The service level agreement with the HSE is currently being reviewed and, in relation to housing services, will have regard to how best to utilise the limited EHO resource available to best support the priorities of the housing department.
The Environmental Health Officers do not inspect Kildare County Council properties. The council manages a housing stock of almost 3,800 properties and any complaints in respect of the condition of social housing stock, irrespective of the source of the complaint, are dealt with by the housing department. A tenant handbook is currently being prepared by Housing Maintenance and will be circulated to all tenants within the coming months, which will assist in identifying matters which are local authority/tenant responsibility.
Copies will be made available to the members as soon as the document is published.