Vacant houses visited three times by council
The Lucan area has seen an increase in house inspections

Vacant houses visited three times by council

SOME vacant houses have been inspected up to three times by South Dublin County Council, before the file was closed as the local authority could not take action.

The homes in question are generally in private ownership and not council housing stock, but it raises the question of what can authorities can do if a long term empty house is deteriorating and impacting neighbouring properties, according to Cllr Shane Moynihan (FF).

Cllr Moynihan asked South Dublin County Council for the number of derelict/vacant house inspections in the Lucan-Palmerstown-North Clondalkin area over the course of 2020 and 2021.

During this period, the council said they carried out 83 inspections under the provisions of the Derelict Sites Act related to 35 properties in this area.

In 23 cases, the files were closed mainly due to the property not considered to be derelict within the definition on the Act, or the property owners cooperated with the council’s requests for works to be carried out.

In the remaining 12 cases, the council is “continuing to pursue each one under the provisions of the Act.”

Cllr Moynihan said he was “puzzled” by the council’s response and the lack of “recourse” when it comes to taking action on a privately owned vacant property.

“The general trend is we are seeing vacant houses. One house in Abbeywood in Lucan, empty, a big tree on the front garden is overgrown, there was a rats nest in it, a wall was cracked, neighbours asked to declare it a derelict site,” he said.

“It is puzzling that the council could investigate a house up to three times and not find it derelict. At one stage in Balgaddy there was five/six houses all boarded up. The council say that out of 10,000 houses they have in the county, only 100 or so are empty, but that number seems small.”

Moynihan referenced the report last week by UK price comparison website, which stated Ireland ranks 10th globally for the highest proportion of vacant homes.

The research found that 9.1 per cent of the State’s housing stock, equating to 183,312 units, are classified as vacant.

The Government has mooted introducing a vacant property tax but said it requires time to collect data on vacancy levels.

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