‘We’re at our wits’ end’ – couple left €27,000 out of pocket as tenant hasn’t paid rent in two years

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The landlords of a Limerick property have spoken out about the emotional and financial stress they’ve experienced after a two-year dispute with their tenant, who owes more than €27,000 in rent.

an Corbett and his wife, Joy King-Corbett, took a case with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) after their tenant stopped paying rent in December 2018.

The RTB found in their favour, ordering the tenant to vacate the premises and pay the outstanding rent of €5,052 in 25 consecutive payments of €200.

However, nearly two years later, she is still living in the house.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Ms King-Corbett said the situation was taking its toll on her family.

“We’re both self-employed so we bought this property as a pension for ourselves. We are seriously out of pocket as a result of this, and with the pandemic and everything else, it has been a difficult year,” she said.

The tenant had been renting the property since 2012 and there had never been any issues beforehand.

“One day she just stopped paying rent and that was that,” Ms King-Corbett said.

Ms King-Corbett went on to criticise the slow nature of the RTB process, describing it as “incredibly frustrating”.

Determination orders issued by the RTB can be enforced only through the courts.

The RTB says there is “no legal obligation” on it to enforce orders and it is up to the applicant to pursue the matter.

The Corbetts requested the RTB to act on their behalf and the case was heard before Limerick District Court in January 2020.

The judge ruled in the Corbetts’ favour and ordered the tenant to pay €12,000 in rent arrears and to vacate the house. He also ordered the tenant to pay €975 each month until such a time as she vacated the building.

However, the tenant appealed it to the Circuit Court and, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the case hasn’t gone ahead.

Meanwhile, the Corbetts still can’t get into their house.

“We are both at our wits’ end,” Ms King-Corbett said.

“I am reaching out to county councillors in Limerick to see if they can help get my tenant on the housing list. This is not a landlord’s remit.

“I feel that this will not be resolved in 2021, and it will be early 2022 – possibly a whole three years – before I have access to my property.”

A countrywide eviction ban is currently in place due to Level 5 restrictions.

The ban automatically kicks in any time people’s movement is restricted to 5km from
their home, as part of new measures introduced by the Government.

Efforts to contact the tenant were unsuccessful.

Online Editors

Source: Irish News