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Tenants can be just as difficult as any landlord

Why are students always advised to be careful in dealing with landlords? I wonder why it always seems to be the landlords that tenants are advised to be careful in dealing with, and never the other way around.

During college life, it upset me to meet so many unfriendly landlords, always reluctant to return my deposit. Then I moved into a property belonging to a young guy who charged minimal rent, was always concerned at how things were going, and was generally just a nice guy. I said to myself that if I ever become a landlord, I will follow his example.

Then it happened, I bought a house mid boom, required tenants to help support my repayments and became a landlord. I spend a lot of time travelling with work, so it did not take me long to realise that being a nice landlord was only an invitation to be abused: From cancelling viewing appointments without informing me, to constant moaning about minor things, avoiding payment of rent, avoiding payment of bills, loud music and house parties on a weekly basis (when I’m away), the smell of marijuana throughout the house, the house being left like a tip when the tenants moved out, knobs being pulled off the cooker, lights being pulled down, house items being stolen and even threats against me.

And it transpires that the really nice ones are the ones to watch closest. One guy told me about how much he done for charity and yet he felt it his right to abscond owing me 2 and a half months’ rent.

I am by no means branding all tenants with this brush. The majority of tenants (especially foreigners in my experience) are respectful of landlords and their property, but I do think that it is very unfair to be constantly alerting students about money-grabbing landlords, while never mentioning that this, too, may happen in reverse.

Barry McDonnell


Co Westmeath


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