Landlord who slept in tenant’s apartment in ‘reign of harassment’ fined €14,500 – The Irish Times



A landlord who slept in an apartment without the permission of his tenant on numerous occasions and began a “reign of harassment” when she asked him to stop, has been ordered to pay €14,500 by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

The tenant was renting a three-bedroom apartment in Ballina, Co Mayo for €125 per week with her teenage son.

An RTB tribunal heard that the tenancy, which was originally a verbal agreement, began in September 2019.

The woman said she met her landlord through her place of work, where she was a receptionist. She said at no stage was there ever any reference to a part tenancy or use of a room made by the landlord.

The woman said in the early months of the tenancy the landlord had asked her as a favour if he could stay overnight in the apartment, and that she allowed it out of kindness.

She said the first few times the landlord asked for permission but then stopped asking and came and stayed as he pleased.

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In October 2019, the woman asked her landlord for a lease as she was going on the HAP (Housing Assistance Payments) scheme and nowhere in the letting agreement was there reference to a part tenancy or agreement for him to use one of the bedrooms when he was in Ballina.

The woman said she went on holidays in June 2022 and when she came home she realised the landlord had stayed there without her consent as his toothbrush was left in the bathroom and a burnt pot and other small things were in the apartment.

The woman said her landlord came with a woman in July 2022 without notice or permission and stayed in the apartment for five nights.

The woman told her landlord to stay in a hotel in the future and to stay away from her. Gardaí were called to the property on a number of occasions.

The woman said she received messages from her landlord threatening to report her to HAP because her partner was staying in the property and to the RTB.

She said her landlord had basically made her life a hell and she left the tenancy early in November 2022 as she didn’t want to live there anymore as the dwelling was full of bad memories and it had a profound effect on her mental health and wellbeing.

In his testimony to the tribunal, the landlord claimed the woman’s submissions were inaccurate, misleading and untruthful.

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He said he had made it very clear he would retain one bedroom for his own use and that he had to attend Ballina once a month for educational reasons and that he currently resides in Dublin.

He also said he told the woman that he would use the room in July for five to seven days or whenever she went on her annual holidays. The landlord said the offer of accommodation was for the woman and her son only.

In its finding, the RTB tribunal said it accepted the tenant had been forced to leave her rented dwelling and had “suffered serious distress, inconvenience and mental health issues as a direct result of the actions of the landlord”.

“This is a most egregious breach of a fundamental landlord obligation which continued for an extended period involving not only the tenant but her son, partner and gardaí,” it said.

The tribunal also said it accepted the woman did agree initially to let the landlord stay out of kindness but when she would no longer agree, he began “a reign of harassment with phone calls, text messages, threats to report her to gardaí and HAP, threatening to call upon the tenant’s partner’s mother at her place of work, interrogating her young son and arriving at the dwelling with a friend and entering without consent on many occasions.”

The RTB ordered the landlord to pay €14,500 within 70 days of the determination order being issued.



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