Housing (Ireland) Act, 1919

Byelaws respecting lodging-houses and houses divided into separate tenements.

41 & 42 Vict. c. 52.

20.(1) The local authority of every urban district or town for the purposes of Part III. of the Act of 1890 shall, without any declaration by the Local Government Board, have power to make and enforce byelaws for the matters specified in section one hundred of the Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878, and that power shall, in the case of houses intended or used for occupation by the working classes, be deemed to include the making and enforcing of byelaws—

(a) for fixing, and from time to time varying, the number of persons who may occupy a house, or part of a house, which is let in lodgings or occupied by members of more than one family, and for separation of the sexes therein;

(b) for the registration and inspection of such houses;

(c) for enforcing drainage and promoting cleanliness and ventilation of such houses;

(d) for requiring provision adequate for the use of, and readily accessible to, each family of—

(i) closet accommodation;

(ii) water supply and washing accommodation;

(iii) accommodation for the storage, preparation, and cooking of food;

and, where necessary, for securing separate accommodation as aforesaid for every part of such house which is occupied as a separate dwelling;

(e) for the keeping in repair and adequate lighting of any common staircase in such house;

(f) for securing stability and the prevention of and safety from fire;

(g) for the cleansing and redecoration of the premises at stated times, and for the paving of the courts and courtyards;

(h) for the provision of handrails, where necessary, for all staircases of such houses;

(i) for securing the adequate lighting of every room in such houses;

and any such byelaws, in addition to any other penalty, may prohibit the letting for occupation by members of more than one family of any such house unless the same are complied with, subject in the case of houses so let or occupied at the time when such byelaws come into force to the allowance of a reasonable time for the execution of any works necessary to comply therewith.

(2) Such byelaws may impose the duty of executing any work required to comply therewith upon the owner within the meaning of the Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878, of any such house, or upon any other person having an interest in the premises, and may prescribe the circumstances and conditions in and subject to which any such duty is to be discharged.

(3) For the purpose of discharging any duty so imposed, the owner or other person may at all reasonable times enter upon any part of the premises, and section fifty-one of the Act of 1890 shall apply as if for the reference to the provisions of Part II. of that Act there were substituted a reference to the provisions of such byelaws, and as if the person on whom such duty is imposed were the owner, and any inmate of the premises were the occupier of a dwelling-house.

(4) Where an owner or other person has failed to execute any work which he has been required to execute under the byelaws, the local authority by whom such byelaws are enforced may, after giving to him not less than twenty-one days’ notice in writing, themselves execute the works and recover the costs and expenses incurred by them in so doing from the owner or other person as a civil debt in manner provided by the Summary Jurisdiction Acts, or, if they think fit, the local authority may, by order, declare any such expenses to be payable by annual instalments within a period not exceeding that of the interest of the owner or other person in the premises, nor in any case five years, with interest at a rate not exceeding five per centum per annum, until the whole amount is paid, and any such instalment or interest or any part thereof may be recovered from the owner or other person as a civil debt in manner provided by the Summary Jurisdiction Acts.

Any notice required to be given to an owner or other person under this subsection may be served in the like manner as a notice required to be served on an owner under Part II. of the Act of 1890, and section forty-nine of that Act shall apply accordingly as if for the reference to Part II. of that Act there were substituted a reference to this subsection and as if any reference to an owner of a dwelling-house included a reference to such other person.

(5) If in the opinion of the Local Government Board premises are being occupied by members of more than one family, or are intended to be converted for such occupation, in any urban district or town, and either no byelaws have been made by the local authority under this section, or the byelaws made are not sufficient properly to regulate such occupation or conversion, the Local Government Board may themselves make byelaws under this section which shall have effect and shall be enforced as if they had been made by the local authority.

(6) Where the person on whom obligations are imposed by any byelaws made for the purposes specified in subsection (1) of this section with respect to houses so occupied as aforesaid holds the premises under a lease or agreement and satisfies the local authority that compliance with such byelaws is contrary to the provisions of the lease or agreement, or that the whole or any part of the expenses of carrying out the obligations ought to be borne by his lessor or other superior landlord, the local authority may make application to the county court and the county court may, after giving the lessor or any such superior landlord an opportunity of being heard—

(a) in the first case, order that the provisions of the lease or agreement be relaxed so far as they are inconsistent with the requirements of the byelaws;

(b) in the second case, grant to the person who carries out the works necessary for compliance with the byelaws, on proof to the satisfaction of the local authority that the works have been properly carried out, a charging order charging on the premises an annuity to repay the expenses properly incurred in carrying out the works or such part of those expenses as the county court consider ought to be so charged.

(7) The annuity shall be of such amount and extend over such number of years as the county court may determine.

(8) Subsection (3) of section thirty-six, section thirty-seven except subsection (4), and paragraph (9) of section ninety-eight of the Act of 1890 shall apply to charging orders and annuities under this section in like manner as to annuities and charging orders under the said section thirty-six.

(9) Where a local authority have themselves acquired a leasehold interest in any house under the powers conferred upon them by this Act, the Local Government Board, on the application of the local authority, may make a similar order with regard to the relaxation of the provisions of the lease and to charging an annuity on the premises as might, had the lessee not been the local authority, have been made on the application of the local authority by the county court, and in that case the decision of the Local Government Board as to the amount and duration of any such annuity shall be final.