Sunday 15 September 2019

Irish J1 accused of causing 'tens of thousands' of dollars worth of damage was caused to thrashed rental home

Damage caused to the rental home of Ritu Vohra in San Francisco, which she let to seven Irish J1 students over the summer
Damage caused to the rental home of Ritu Vohra in San Francisco, which she let to seven Irish J1 students over the summer

Sarah Stack and Emma Jane Hade

A landlady whose claims her house was thrashed by a group of Irish students has described the damage they caused as “wild destruction”.

Ritu Vohra said “tens of thousands” of dollars worth of damage was caused to her home in San Francisco, which she let to seven J1 students over the summer.

Ms Vohra said the noise from her property was so bad that neighbours had complained to council officials that they believed illegal building works were being carried out.

Some of the students who were named on the lease have since been in touch with the pregnant woman, offering to repay her for the damage caused, claiming that the majority of it had occurred after a party got out of control just days before they were due to return to Ireland.

However consular officials in San Francisco have also vowed to help track down anyone who might be responsible for the damage.

“This is not acceptable behaviour,” said Philip Grant, Consulate General of Ireland in San Francisco.

Damage caused to the rental home of Ritu Vohra in San Francisco, which she let to seven Irish J1 students over the summer
Damage caused to the rental home of Ritu Vohra in San Francisco, which she let to seven Irish J1 students over the summer

“The people who are responsible for this will be held accountable for their behaviour to compensate accordingly.”

Ms Vohra said when she went to do a “spot check” on the five bedroom property in the Sunset District the day before the lease was up on September 20 and was “beyond shocked”.

Damage caused to the rental home of Ritu Vohra in San Francisco, which she let to seven Irish J1 students over the summer
Damage caused to the rental home of Ritu Vohra in San Francisco, which she let to seven Irish J1 students over the summer

“From what I could see, it was not just ‘some damage’, it was wild destruction,” she told independent.ie.

Windows and glass were smashed, doors, walls, bathrooms, kitchen cabinets, chandeliers and toilets were broke, and rubbish, used condoms, and dirty underwear thrown about. She also believes a golf club was used to knock holes through the walls.

Damage caused to the rental home of Ritu Vohra in San Francisco, which she let to seven Irish J1 students over the summer
Damage caused to the rental home of Ritu Vohra in San Francisco, which she let to seven Irish J1 students over the summer

“From what I could see, it was not just 'some damage', it was wild destruction," she said.

“They left nothing intact.”

Neighbours later said police had had to be called several times because of wild parties with DJs and drunks asleep outside or getting in to street brawls.

“The damage is probably in the tens of thousands and about the months of lost rent,” she added.

Damage caused to the rental home of Ritu Vohra in San Francisco, which she let to seven Irish J1 students over the summer
Damage caused to the rental home of Ritu Vohra in San Francisco, which she let to seven Irish J1 students over the summer

Ms Vohra also remains sceptical about apologies she received on email after she found a video online of some of the tenants doing the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ in one of the bedrooms.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News