The Private Rental Inspection Unit in Cork City Council’s Housing Directorate is responsible for the inspection of privately rented accommodation and enforcement of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 137/2019) ensuring that rented dwellings comply with minimum standards. The main objective of these Regulations is to establish minimum standards in order to protect the health and well-being of tenants and make private rented properties safe and fit for habitation.
These Regulations set out the minimum standards which all rented dwellings must achieve and include specific requirements for areas such as Structural Condition, Sanitary Facilities, Heating Facilities, Food Preparation and Storage and Laundry, Ventilation, Lighting, Fire Safety, Refuse Facilities and Gas, Oil and Electricity Installations. Failure to comply with the Regulations may result in the owner of the property being served with an Improvement Notice and/or Prohibition Notice and possible prosecution pursuant to the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992.
If you are concerned that your privately rented property may not be compliant with the minimum standards you should first bring the issue to the attention of your landlord and they must be given a reasonable opportunity to access the property and carry out any necessary repairs or improvements.
Tenants have certain responsibilities such as allowing the landlord reasonable access to inspect the property and carry out any necessary works at a mutually acceptable time. If a tenant has notified the landlord regarding the need for repairs but the problem has not been rectified by the landlord, then the tenant can choose to refer the matter to the Private Rental Inspection Unit who may carry out an inspection of the dwelling and, if necessary, advise your landlord to carry out appropriate repair or improvement work. The team within the Private Rental Inspection Unit are “authorised persons” who are empowered to inspect a private rented house under the above legislation.
An inspection may be requested by filling out an Inspection Request Form.
Before submitting an “Inspection Request Form” please be mindful of the following:
• The function of the Private Rental Inspection Unit relates to inspection and enforcement of the Regulations in privately rented accommodation only. The unit does not deal with repair and maintenance requests from tenants in social housing owned by Cork City Council – such requests should be directed to the Housing Maintenance Section.
• An inspection will only be carried out where the complaint relates specifically to a suspected non-compliance with the Regulations. Complaints which do not relate to the Regulations cannot be investigated – see Private Rented Housing Inspections - Minimum Standards in Rented Accommodation in the link below.
• Disputes between landlords and tenants do not fall under the remit of Cork City Council’s Private Rental Inspection Unit. Dispute Resolution falls under the remit of the Residential Tenancies Board - please visit for further information.
• An “Inspection Request Form” should only be submitted if you have already been unsuccessful in having your landlord address the problem adequately.
• Only complaints from tenants resident in the rented dwelling will be investigated. Complaints lodged by third parties will not be entertained.
• Inspections will be carried out at the discretion of Cork City Council.
In the light of the Covid-19 Pandemic, it is imperative that accommodation is thoroughly cleaned before an inspection is carried out.
• A COVID 19 questionnaire shall be completed prior to the inspector’s arrival at the property, please ensure that the Private Rental Inspection Unit has the correct contact number for both landlord/agent and tenant and that available by phone on the morning of the inspection to complete is questionnaire.
• The landlord (or a nominated contact) shall be present at the property for the duration of the inspection. This is to limit the number of persons present at the property during inspection.
• All windows and doors within the property be in the open position a minimum of 15mins prior to inspectors’ arrival to facilitate adequate ventilation of the property.
• The property shall be vacant whilst the inspection is being undertaken. We ask that the tenants relocate away from the area being inspected - this is to minimise the number of persons within the property and facilitate social distancing in internal spaces.
• Please be advised that inspectors will wear face coverings. It is requested that those present shall also wear a suitable face covering, ensuring that the nose and mouth are covered for the duration of the inspection.
• Please exercise social distancing throughout the inspection process.
The regulations apply to all rented houses (both single and multi-occupancy) let for rent or available for letting with the following exemptions:
• A holiday home.
• Accommodation provided by the Health Service Executive or by an approved body, containing sanitary, cooking or dining facilities provided for communal use within the building.
• A house that is let by a housing authority pursuant to any of their functions under the Housing Acts, 1966 to 2004, and is a demountable house.
Further information regarding the Standards for Rented houses is available from the following sources:
• Guide to Minimum Standards in Rented Accommodation
• Private Rented Housing Inspections - Minimum Standards in Rented Accommodation (Regulations)
• The Department for the Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
• Guidance Document on COVID-19 - Supports for Landlords and Tenants
• Residential Tenancies Board
• Threshold - National Housing Organization
• Citizens information
• Housing Assistance Payment
• Protected Structures and Architectural Conservation Areas