Unscrupulous Landlords

EvictionNo names or specific locations are mentioned in this article.

I was doing a house removal for a woman from South Wicklow to a Storage Facility in Dublin. The circumstances were awful for the woman and her kids. I knew by the tone of her voice when she called to book me that the reason for this woman’s move was something traumatic: a break up, an eviction maybe… It turned out, essentially, to be both.

The woman, who was Irish, had lived in Asia with her husband and family for many years. Then they had come back to Ireland, and from what I gathered, they lived together in South Wicklow for less than a year before the relationship broke down and he left her high and dry with 2 kids and no income.

Unable to afford her rent now, she asked the landlord if it was ok for her to apply for rent allowance. He point-blank refused. “We don’t accept rent allowance”, he said. Never mind the fact that she had started a life in the area, never mind that her kids were in school in the area. “We don’t accept rent allowance” was his cold-hearted response. This makes me so angry!

She tried to keep up the rent payments but it was impossible. So what was the solution for this poor woman. She had been in contact with social services and was sent from pillar to post in relation to which district was responsible for processing a single parent claim for her. Originally from Dublin, the office in South Wicklow told her she had to apply to the Dublin office, because she had not yet been living in South Wicklow for long enough. But the office in Dublin told her that the South Wicklow office was responsible. “You haven’t been living in Ireland for long enough to make a claim”, she was then told.

This makes me so mad! The social welfare system needs to be overhauled to ensure claims are processed based on “need” rather than “criteria”. Does the person “need” help? Not just “do they tick certain boxes” and if they don’t, then “sorry, we can’t help you”. Because sometimes you don’t match their criteria and yet you do absolutely need help.

Luckily the woman did not end up homeless because a friend helped her out and let her stay there for a few months. Eventually after months, she got accommodation sorted. Luckily! Because this woman was well and truly let down by our social welfare system after being abandoned by a seemingly deadbeat dad and cast into the gutter by a heartless landlord.

To top it all off, I later discovered that the landlord had only given her €200 of her deposit back and gave her a cheque to refund the remaining €500 her deposit on the day she was leaving, after having inspected the property. Thus, he confirmed the property was in sufficiently good order to constitute a refund of her deposit. He then stopped the cheque when he discovered a few scribbles on the wall done by her kids. This doesn’t seem right!


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