Monday 17 December 2018

Buried sewage and hidden bunkbeds: tricks of the slum landlords

Mattresses are stored in a warehouse during times of inspection
Mattresses are stored in a warehouse during times of inspection
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

The shocking conditions in dozens of slum-like houses are revealed in a special investigation that lays bare the lengths landlords will go to in order to evade inspectors.

In some dwellings up to eight people are sleeping in the same room, with up to 30 crammed into a property, while the landlords collect cash-in-hand payments every week.

The investigation reveals eight landlords manage more than 40 properties across Dublin.

The group of people running the houses are removing bunkbeds, partitions and items of furniture before inspections in an attempt to deceive council staff.

These tactics are being used to mislead inspectors about how many tenants are living in the overcrowded houses. The group removes mattresses and furniture the night before inspections and stores them in warehouses in Bray and Drumcondra.

In correspondence seen by Independent.ie, some members of the group also discussed ordering "10 big bags" of cement to pour over leaking sewage before Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council carried out an inspection at a property in south Dublin.

No room between beds in one room
No room between beds in one room

It also emerged that one property in Ranelagh was previously the address for more than 2,000 offshore firms, some of which were investigated by international authorities as they were linked to criminal activities. There are 25 girls living in the house.

The ownership of the property is also registered in the name of a company that has since been dissolved.

Other properties are located in Blackrock, Rathmines, Dundrum, Shankill, Rialto, Clontarf and Tallaght. All the properties viewed during the investigation were two-storey houses in residential areas, except for a three-storey house in Clontarf. One house in Rathmines has 23 girls living there.

The lease is in the name of one of the property managers, who is also listed as director of a property management company.

He said the properties mentioned above had nothing to do with his management company and the other members of the group were not employed by him.

Each property has an appointed 'queen' who is responsible for collecting rent, overseeing housework and management of the bills.

Independent.ie was unable to contact the owners of any of the houses. A source said some owners were clueless as to how the houses were being rented.

Irish Independent

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