70 tenants told to praise 'hostel' or lose deposits
Tenants living in an "unauthorised hostel" have claimed they were told they would lose their deposits unless they submitted handwritten letters praising their living conditions.
Dillon De Brun, who collected rent from 70 tenants living in a five-bedroomed house, sent a group text message ordering them to write letters to be used as evidence in court.
The messages read: "OK so here's what's going to happen.
"I need every tenant to write a handwritten letter for me to give to the judge . . . about how much they love living in the house and how ye can't afford to find a house elsewhere as they is [sic] nowhere as cheap or available!"
He added that he was going to hand these letters to the judge "and speak to him myself".
Mr De Brun was employed by Christian Carter (29) to manage The Pines, Lehaunstown, Cabinteely, and collected the rent each month on his behalf.
The tenants had no written leases. Mr De Brun claimed The Pines was rented to foreign nationals because "[with] their way of living… they'd agree to it a lot more".
Now the tenants, who were given five days' notice to find alternative accommodation, have spoken out about what it was really like to live in the house.
"He threatened us about how we wouldn't get our deposits back unless we made a video or wrote a letter," they claimed.
They said there were problems with mould, and that the heating always broke down. They also said there were constant electricity problems.
Mr De Brun declined to comment on the above claims.
Edel McGinley, director of the Migrants Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI), has been working with the tenants to help them find accommodation since they were ordered to vacate the property.
She is calling for new laws to be implemented to protect the rights of tenants in situations like this.