A 70-YEAR old Limerick landlord is warning that small landlords are “leaving in droves” because there is little or no support for those who rent only one or two properties.
The pensioner and landlord, who bought the property in Killaloe in the midst of a housing crisis as a means of providing a stream of income for herself and her husband, says she’s selling up after experiencing issues with tenants who didn’t pay their rent.
The woman – who has asked to remain anonymous – says she let the house to a couple who didn’t pay the rent for four months before leaving the property thrashed and smelling of dog faeces and urine.
“When they didn’t pay the rent, I gave them notice in the proper way. But they still didn’t leave. When they eventually got out last week, the house was covered in dog dirt and stinking of pee.
“They broke the place up. I’m out thousands in unpaid rent and now it’s going to cost me a fortune to fix the damage,” she said.
Now, the woman says she is having to carry out her own detective work to try to follow the fugitive tenants who she believes to have provided false information about their identity.
“The man came to me first about renting the house. He told me he was related to a local business family. He also told me he was a hotel manager. I let the house to him in good faith.
“He never mentioned anything about his girlfriend moving in or having two dogs. The first I knew of the dogs was when I went to the house after he stopped paying the rent and wouldn’t answer his phone.
“He wouldn’t open the door to me but I could hear the dogs barking inside. I got the Gardaí and he eventually opened the door to them.”
After researching her tenant further, the elderly landlord made a shocking discovery.
“After they left I went to see the family he claimed to be related to and they said they had daughters but no son.
“I went to the place he said he was manager and they had never heard of him.”
The landlord says she and her husband now plan to sell the house.
“I went to the Private Residential Tenancy Board. I went to see a solicitor and he told me it would cost me thousands to take them to court, even if I could find them.”
She says there is no help for landlords like her trying to rent a property to generate income streams.
“This is why small landlords are getting out. Everything we’re paid is taxed but there’s no tax relief or support when a tenant does something like this.”