I imagine by “home” here they are referring to single rooms in uninsulated decrepid 19 Century Houses that are let out to desperate people living in Dublin for 650euro a month.
You would wonder how much of this junk housing has preservation orders attached? The plan of course is not to demolish these not fit for purpose structures but to dicky them up a bit until this issue is forgotten about again.
Grove Park is a funny one.Magnificent houses in a great location, but for whatever reason, the gentrification that swept most of the surrounding areas in the last 20 years completely passed it buy. It cheap to buy a large Victorian red brick there. Suppose it take courage to be the first.
I lived in Grove Park in 1992 in actually quite a nice warm newly built studio apartment at the back of one of these houses which was broken up in to bedsits.
I paid 50 or 55 punts per week and I’d guess that same studio is earning 200 euro per week now.
The landlord owned multiple properties and I was previously in one of his dingier properties on Rathmines Road Upper. He moved me in to this property as I wasn’t giving him any trouble and was looking after the last one so would look after this one.
Guys like him who were skirting the line between slum-lord and professional landlord were making very good steady money out of these properties around Rathmines and if they sold up they’d struggle to find anything which generated similar income.
These guys are numerate; they can do the figures and know when they are on to a good thing and this is the main reason why Grove Road and streets like it didn’t get converted back in to private residences. They owned the properties before the boom so they didn’t feel the need to take a profit and close off their position. These houses were money for old rope as they were supremely lettable irrespective of how shabby they became over the years.
The article fails to mention what categories they failed and highlights the worst cases as if this is the rule rather than the exception. By in large most of these houses these units are built in the 18th and 19th century and subject to the governments own preservation orders so how many units do you think would have individual showers and toilets? Here are the government imposed rules. How many units are 80 to 90% compliant, they must be 100% to be approved by the council.
There is a lot of work and expense involved in refitting these houses (the articles says 5105 units that’s probably around 1000 to 1200 houses maybe less), so that the units within them meet the specifications (unit must be stripped of existing furnishings, the entire plumbing in the house has to be reworked, electrical wiring has also to be reworked) and if you want to keep the tenants who pay the higher rents to stay you have to provide internet access (market demand).
And to change the windows you have to comply with the preservation orders - guess how much each of those “Georgian” windows cost? The end result is you have an upgraded unit which has upgraded market value which translates to higher rent for the tenant. Now throw into the mix that a few of the landlords are broke (overextended in the boom) and too old (retired guards for example) and don’t have the energy and time to upgrade the premises and a different picture of the situation emerges - They can’t fully upgrade at once and must shutdown, sell or duke it out with the council.
The various homeless charities have noted more people on the streets and hostels - Is there a relationship with this and why does more noise coincide with the councils enhanced inspections? Can they afford market rate are they the type of tenant that has upgraded their behaviour to comply with the new building standards? So when the council representative says “This has had a significant impact on tenants’ quality of life and on the city environs in general” you got to ask where did the down and outs end up? Since they shutdown the NCR, serious crime and social disturbance in the area is down.
Many of these properties fail because they fail to meet basic fire regulations, and are dirty run down kips.
I’ve seen a few.
If the landlords can’t meet the rules, let them sell up to someone who can.
Homeless organisations are generally in favour of the regulations, and welcome their enforcement.
Compliance must come first - whatever happens to rent is immaterial. The standards imposed by DCC are below average for rental accommodation in countries other than here and in the UK. The fact that they are not enforced is a complete disgrace.
I have been in (and seen photographs) of rentals that people that worked for me and with me have lived in - on two occasions I reported the places to Dublin Fire Brigade - I would advise anybody who wishes to see their report taken seriously to report to the Fire Brigade (the PTRB is a joke) - they are the guys who have to deal with the result of much of this and to break in to squalid apartments where poor old folk have died months before. Even if the main issue is not fire safety it is almost certain that there will be some breach of the fire regulations that will allow you to report them (look for adequate numbers and location of Fire extinguishers, fireescapes, check that extinguishers have been recently maintained). The Fire Service will welcome your complaint - in the end it will save them putting themselves at risk for the cheapskate activities of someone who would like to be considered a ‘landlord’.
Student accommodation is another fright - there have been a couple of close ones in Dublin ( a fire opposite Whelans in Camden St a few years ago for example). Parents should really carry out a rigorous check on where their kids are staying. Unfortunately it is almost certain that there will have to be a tragedy before anything is done about this.