Thursday 29 September 2016

'It’s my word over his. I want out' - 'Exploited' tenant who pays cash in hand to landlord tells RTE's Liveline

Tomás Heneghan

Published 13/07/2016 | 16:43

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Some landlords are avoiding new rental laws by having tenants pay them cash in hand.

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On Wednesday a woman told RTE’s Liveline she pays 30pc of her rent in cash to her landlord, while the remaining 70pc is lodged to a bank.

During the discussion on a recent rental scam exposed by the show’s usual presenter Joe Duffy, the woman told the show she felt exploited by her current landlord.

She explained to stand-in presenter Philip Boucher Hayes: “My landlord isn’t totally legit and if I don’t play his game the rent will go up.”

“If I don’t agree to this, he will put it up. So I need a place to stay,” she added.

However she said she is not registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB).

The woman said she began paying her landlord cash in hand as part of her rent at a rate of 5pc but this has increased to 30pc in recent years.

She also said she couldn’t resolve the issue as she feels there is no one to turn to help her.

She explained: “It’s easy to say that but who’s going to investigate this. It’s my word over his. I want out.”

The discussion began with the woman describing her experience of house hunting and her run-in with scammers who were exposed on Liveline in recent weeks.

She said she had come across a three bedroom house on the Tripadvisor website on June 7.

The rent was €1,100 and after exchanging several emails with the property owners she became suspicious due to some of their requests.

She said the elderly couple, named as Lloyd and Martha Wicker and who she said had claimed to work for the Red Cross, had asked her to pay a month’s rent and deposit before moving in. This would come to €2,200.

She told the show: “I’d pay the €2,200 and it was a safety net for both of us.”

She then searched for more details on the couple on Google and found that the email address they were using was linking to someone in California in the United States even though they had previously told her they lived in England.

The woman let the property go and told the show: “I’m a bit wiser. Not out of pocket and luckily I did my research.”

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