Inspections & Complaints

Minimum Standards for Private Rented Accommodation

Minimum Standards for Private Rented Accommodation - Inspections of Rental Properties with Private Residential Tenancies


Housing Standards and Inspections

Galway City Council is dedicated to improving the living standards of tenants in private rented housing. This is done, in accordance with Government Regulations, through the inspection of private rented properties. However, if a tenant is experiencing an issue in their property, they should always report it to the landlord in the first instance. Tenants experiencing problems can request a minimum standards inspection by email to The Housing Inspection Unit will endeavor to ensure timely inspections after a complaint is received.


Minimum Standards for Private Rented Accommodation

The main objective of the Housing Standards Regulations is to establish minimum standards in order to protect the health and wellbeing of tenants and to make private rented houses safe and fit for habitation.

Landlords are legally obliged to ensure that their private rented houses (which include a house, flat or an apartment) are maintained in good condition and repair and comply with the Regulations. Landlords failing to comply with their legal obligations in private rented houses are liable to be prosecuted, and on conviction, may be subject to a fine or imprisonment or both.

The following are covered in detail under the housing standards legislation and the technical guide documents:

    • Structural Condition
    • Sanitary Facilities
    • Heating Facilities
    • Food Preparation and Storage and Laundry
    • Ventilation
    • Lighting
    • Fire Safety
    • Refuse
    • Electricity and Gas
    • Dealing with Complaints      

Further information on the relevant legislation may be obtained on or


Inspections of Private Rented Accommodation

Galway City Council (in our role as a housing authority) are responsible, through inspection, for determining whether a property meets the standards for rental accommodation and, where the property does not, for ensuring compliance through the use of improvement and prohibition notices and legal proceedings.

Landlords and tenants are required to allow the Housing Authority access to the property to undertake inspections.

Where it is not clear from an inspection that a rental property is in compliance with the Regulations, the Housing Authority may require the landlord to provide such evidence as is necessary to establish that they have complied with the requirements of the Regulations.

If you are a tenant and you believe your private rented property does not comply with minimum standards, you should discuss this with the landlord. If you and your landlord cannot resolve this informally, you should contact the RTB (Residential Tenancies Board) for more information on your rights and responsibilities.  

If the property is below the minimum standards and the landlord refuses to carry out repairs as required, the tenant can ask Galway City Council to carry out an inspection and issue notice of improvement to comply with the standards where necessary.


Enforcement of Housing Standards

All landlords are required by law to comply with the standards for rental housing and should ensure their properties are fully compliant with fire safety and minimum standards regulations for rental properties. Local authorities are responsible for ensuring compliance of minimum standards and fire safety.

Failure to comply with the minimum standards can result in penalties and prosecution. Galway City Council can issue Improvement Letters/Notices and Prohibition Notices to landlords who breach the minimum standards regulations.

An Improvement Letter is a list of minor works that the landlord shall carry out to remedy a breach of the regulations.

An Improvement Notice sets out the works that the landlord shall carry out to remedy a breach of the regulations.

If the landlord does not do these works, Galway City Council may issue a Prohibition Notice, directing the landlord not to re-let the property until the breach of the regulations has been rectified.


Dealing with Complaints

Tenants occupying accommodation not meeting the relevant standards should, in the first instance, contact the landlord in order to give the landlord an opportunity to put the matter right. 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 Inspections Unit of Galway City Council’s Housing Department for investigation.

When contacting The Inspections Unit of Galway City Council’s Housing Department, the tenant should provide their full name, address, Eircode and telephone number/mobile number along with full details of their concerns/query. The name, address and contact details for the landlord should also be provided.


Complaints which cannot be dealt with

Complaints cannot be dealt with when:

    • They are anonymous.
    • The matter does not relate to housing standards.
    • There is insufficient information given to investigate.
    • If it is the opinion of contacting The Inspections Unit of Galway City Council’s Housing Department that the complaint requires further investigation, then an appointment will be made to inspect the relevant property and further action initiated if warranted. 


How to Request a Minimum Standards Inspection

Enquires, requests or to make a complaint contact The Housing Inspections Unit in Galway City Council by emailing enquires or complaints to:

Telephone: 091 536400

Postal Address: Galway City Council, Minimum Standards Unit, City Hall, College Road, Galway, H91 X4K8


Useful Links

Key rights and obligations of landlords and tenants Ventilation Residential Tenancies  Amendment Act 2021- what this means for Tenants & Landlords Being a Good Landlord/Tenant



The information which is provided is for advisory purposes only and does not purport to be a definitive and/or legal interpretation of housing standards and cannot be read as such. The pages contained in this section may contain inaccuracies. The pages contained in this section may be updated from time to time, but we do not accept any responsibility for keeping the information up to date nor any liability for any failure to do so.


Prohibition Notices

Prohibition Notices - Section 18B Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act  1992 (as amended)



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