IT’S appalling to think someone can be evicted from their home because they owe €50 in rent. Yet, according to Threshold, the housing aid body, that paltry amount recently led to an eviction in Kerry.
Illegal evictions from private rented accommodation are again on the increase. This worrying trend, highlighted in Threshold’s annual report, brings to mind harrowing evictions of darker days in Irish history, with families thrown on the side of the road at the whim of ruthless landlords. It has to be said that the unacceptable behaviour of bad tenants can lead frustrated property owners to take precipitous action. But that cannot justify illegal evictions or the withholding of deposits.
Out of 200 eviction cases handled by Threshold last year, only one landlord dealt with the situation legally. And, as seen in the case study of a young couple in Cork, some property owners think nothing of withholding deposits until threatened with legal action by Threshold which also advises hundreds of landlords.
In these difficult times, there is a grave onus on the Government to protect vulnerable tenants against unscrupulous landlords.
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