Republican News · Thursday 20 July 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Crack down on ``slum landlords''

Sligo mayor calls for action

Sinn Féin Mayor of Sligo Sean MacManus has hit out at the revelation that, according to the Dublin government's latest quarterly report on housing, not one rented property has been inspected in either Sligo or Leitrim in the period covered by the report. He has also called for a major crackdown to put slum landlords out of business or to force them to comply with the regulations.

Alderman MacManus, speaking at a meeting of Sligo Sinn Féin Comhairle Ceantair in Collooney, said the report revealed the complete lack of action being taken to tackle the many problems that arise in relation to health and safety standards within the rented accommodation sector. There are many young people and young families throughout Counties Sligo and Leitrim who are forced to live in rented accommodation. The vast majority, if not all, of these people are not in rented accommodation by choice. They are there because they cannot afford to buy their own homes due to spiralling house prices and the failure of the government to allocate Sligo and Leitrim County Councils and Sligo Corporation the necessary finance to realistically tackle and reduce housing waiting lists.''

He added: ``While there are many fair and just landlords out there, sadly there are also those slum landlords who are greedy, unscrupulous and care little for the conditions in which their tenants are forced to live. In Waterford, where 63 inspections took place, 59 of those examined did not comply with the required regulations. Many families live in damp, unfit and unsafe accommodation, paying exorbitant rents that they cannot afford. The least that the authorities can do is to ensure that all rented properties are registered with the local authority and that they comply with the relevant health and safety standards. They are obliged to do so by law and those who break the law in this regard must be brought to court and punished severely.''

MacManus also urged the government to introduce strict rent control within the private rented sector.

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