Friday 23 June 2017

I've had it with shoebox bedrooms and Dublin landlords

Stay-at-home parents suffer in our tax system.
Stay-at-home parents suffer in our tax system.

Lorraine Courtney

I was sitting in my rented flat as I listened to the rented dishwasher wash my rented dishes when my phone pinged with an email. It was my landlord announcing a rent hike: "The lease on the property is due to expire, should you wish to renew there will be a rental increase of €200 per month. This is due to large increases in the rental market over the past 12 months. We still believe it is below market value. Please let me know what your intentions are as normally we require 30 days notice should you be vacating."

I'm a good tenant. I've lived in the flat for five and a half years and I've always paid my rent on time. I don't have many late night parties and I've only broken one mug. But all of that doesn't matter now that I'm hit with a rent increase of 20pc in one concise email. I'd been expecting some kind of rise but now I've no option but to move out and find somewhere else to call home.

I will probably never be able to own my own property. When I die, my only assets will be a wardrobe full of Zara tops, and the wardrobe won't even be mine. Yet it can be difficult to complain about rents, house prices and mortgages without being accused of being a middle-class whinger? Well, I might be just that.

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