Homeowner devastated as tenants trash Offaly house

Camilla McLoughlin

Reporter:

Camilla McLoughlin

Homeowner devastated as tenants trash Offaly house

The gaping hole where the washing machine stood. Stolen by tenants who trashed house

A Tullamore based landlady is counting the huge financial cost after tenants trashed her house leaving her with a bill for thousands of euro.

The tenants had been renting the house for the past 7 years, however, there had been ongoing issues that required the landlady, whose name is with the editor, to constantly carry out repairs.

The tenants caused €7,000 worth of damage before leaving the house, taking the fridge freezer, washing machine and microwave with them. They even pulled out the air vent and took the light bulbs out of their fixtures. In addition they pulled out a built in wardrobe and broke panes of glass in a double door.

Holes were left in a new floor, which the landlady says looks as if they were made with an iron bar along with paint marks also on the floor. Other items left behind include dirty mattresses and old broken furniture

In addition to the damage caused to the house the tenants abandoned two sheds full of household refuse. The landlady says a man hired to clean out the sheds is on his third load of rubbish.

She said she gave notice to the tenants that she intended to sell the house last September 2020 giving them six months to vacate the property.

However, Covid put a stop to proceedings and the landlady was unable to get into the house to inspect it.

The tenants were on a HAP [Housing Assistance Payment] scheme leaving them with just €35 a month to pay in rent. Offaly county council paid the rest. But the tenants hadn't been paying their share for a number of months.

The homeowner said the council hasn't paid rent to her since March 3. She said the council gave her no notice that the tenants were leaving and they looked for no reference even though they were rehousing them in a local authority house.

''Councils make landlords jump through hoops. But I have no come back. When I ring I get a stock answer saying they were private tenants. My house was right up to standard and that's my reward.''

The owner said she was asked to let her house to the family by a social worker who said the woman was a ''nice person.''

''The first couple of years they were really good. But they got involved in anti-social behaviour,'' she said.

The family are now rehomed but the landlady is left with a massive bill and has no choice but to pay for the damage herself.