Saturday, 19 January 2013

Goodbye to the bedsit in Ireland

On Thursday January 17th 2013, The Irish Times property section had the headline "Farewell to the humble bedsit". Following their article on the 28th December, "It will be illegal for landlords to rent out bedsit-type accommodation under new regulations due to come into force at the end of next month.

From February 1st all rented accommodation must have its own sanitary facilities in a separate room, which means the days of rented rooms sharing a single bathroom will come to an end."

The Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008  (Details here) have been in place since 2009, there has been a four year grace period for the implementation of articles 6.7 and 8 which are about sanitation, food preparation and heating. Basically all properties that are on the rental market including those within multi unit properties (e.g. bedsits) will have to have their own bathroom, independently controlled heating appliances plus for cooking:

  • A four ring hob (not the type of cooker above that was typical in bedsits in my area in the 1980's to 2000)
  • Oven
  • Grill
  • Extractor fan
  • Fridge & Freezer
  • Microwave oven
  • Access to laundry facilities
This will mean that a lot of landlords will have to incorporate such features if they remain in the bedsit market and in effect convert their bedsits into "studio flats".

Those who are not able to convert can of course try and sell them as normal houses. Many of these properties of course will be larger than the average family, however could be ideal for those with "adult members of the family" still living at home. 

In the UK "Bedsits" have been regulated for a number of years under HMO - Houses in Multiple Occupation legislation that now incorporates licencing.

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