Cork letting agency Rose Property Services say they have received “abuse, harassment and angry phone calls” from desperate house hunters as demand for housing exceeds supply ahead of the eviction ban lifting.
But angry emails, phone calls and door-stepping have caused the Cork City letting agents to keep access to their office to a minimum.
A covid-era sign on the front door of Rose Property Services is still up. It states that their “office is still open, but precautions are in place.”
It reads: “If you are visiting to book a viewing then please email from Daft or phone us.”
“We will not be allowing access at the moment unless you are a property owner who is an existing client, or a property owner who is enquiring about using our services. Or a tradesperson collecting/returning a key.”
Managing Director for the letting agency Mark Rose told the: “Hundreds of people enquire for each property and we would not be able to cope with the number of people who would want to come and talk to us in person. One hot day last year when we opened the upstairs windows at the front of the office then a group were trying to shout out to us to speak about rental properties.
My team has young people, and for our own security and safety, we’ve had to leave that sign up and restrict people to phoning ahead, or just meeting them at the door.
“It has been up since March 2020, and stayed in place. The situation at the moment is awful. We’re here because there are no properties available. If we advertise a property then hundreds of people want that same property and only one household is successful so the rest are disappointed, frustrated, angry or distressed"
Mr Rose said their inability to cope with the numbers seeking housing means they receive “nasty” Google reviews popping up on their website.
Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV) CEO Pat Davitt told thethat his organisation hasn't received official reports of abuse and harassment towards agents although he has "heard talk" about it.
Earlier this month, the Government voted to lift the ban on evictions during tense scenes in the Dáil. It is now feared that thousands of people could face eviction from the end of March.
Meanwhile, a report released on Thursday by the Simon Communities of Ireland found that just 672 properties were available for rent at any price within 16 areas over three days surveyed in March.
The Locked Out report shows there were no HAP properties available to rent in Cork City, Cork City suburbs, Limerick city centre and eight other study areas. According to Daft.ie, average rents in Cork city rose 14.9% in the last year to €1,768.
The number of people in homeless accommodation in Ireland reached a new record high for the seventh month in a row in February, with a total of 11,754 adults and children in emergency housing.