Carrick-on-Suir Town Council chiefs have rejected calls to allow council tenants redecorate the interior of their homes and carry out certain other work without requiring the local authority’s permission.
During a discussion on the Council’s revised Tenants Handbook, Cllr Kieran Bourke complained that half of the items tenants were required to seek permission from the Council to carry out on their homes were “very draconian” and should be removed from the handbook.
The Fianna Fail councillor said many Council tenants were living in their homes for decades and shouldn’t have to go to the local authority to get permission to wallpaper their sitting room.
He argued that Council staff didn’t need to be inundated with requests for permission to wall paper their homes at a time when there was a moratorium on staff recruitment.
Along with wallpapering and painting the interior of council homes, he felt it was ridiculous and over the top for tenants to be required seek permission first from the Council to change their aerial.
He cited the recent case where the introduction of Saor View meant a lot of householder had to change their television aerials.
Independent Cllr Pierce O’Loughlin supported Cllr Bourke’s proposal.
He thought it was great for council tenants to aspire to paint and decorate their homes and wished them the best of luck. The Council could only legislate for so much and was “tripping itself up” with the amount of house works tenants were required to get permission for before carrying them out.
Town Council Manager Pat Slattery responded that if a tenant was renting a privately owned house they would go to the landlord first before making any alterations to the property.
The same applied to the Town Council, which was only maintaining control of its own housing stock.
He said the Council once received a request to erect a 1.2m satellite dish on one of its houses so the tenant could access US television. Should that be allowed?” he asked councillors.
Town Clerk Michael O’Brien pointed out there were cases where people got renovations done on houses that wasn’t properly carried out. This was why the Council required tenants to get permission from the Council first.
Cllr Bourke was unhappy with Council management’s response.
““As someone born and reared in a local authority house I think it’s petty,” he declared.
“I know families living in local authority houses 60 to 70 years. They treat them as their own because they are living there so long.
“ To have to come in here (the Town Hall) and look for permission coming up to Christmas for to wallpaper their sitting room is a bit over the top.”