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'It was complete satire... I'd do it again' - Landlord defends 'pack them tight, collect money' video


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Dublin landlord and former 'Dragons' Den' contestant Joe Doyle has defended posting a video about cramming tenants into a house to make €5,000 a month, describing it as "complete satire".

Mr Doyle rents out multiple properties in west Dublin and is a spokesperson for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

He describes himself as "the biggest landlord in west Dublin".

He said the video was posted as a joke to "generate outrage" and to help promote his business.

Speaking on Today with Sarah McInerney on RTÉ Radio 1, Mr Doyle defended the video and said he would "post it again".

"It was part of an experiment that we were doing for our marketing, I do a lot of marketing online. I make videos the last number years about business and investment, stuff like that," he said.

"We said, 'what's going to get us more attention? Humour? Outrage?' Free world class business advice or free cash, so we done three tests and we're here talking today purely on the basis of the outrage that was caused from the video," he added.

In a TikTok video published on Monday night, he said: "You get two families to share the one house. One family pays €2,500 and the other family pays €2,600.


Clondalkin landlord Joe Doyle

Clondalkin landlord Joe Doyle

Clondalkin landlord Joe Doyle

"Two changes to the house: put some bunk-beds into the living room, two sets of bunk-beds into each bedroom . . . people would pay anything to get into a house, so cha-ching.

"Two families have to share one bathroom, they also have to share one kitchen. Only eight people living in the house in total.

"There is no sitting room so they have to take their meals back and eat in the bedroom.

"It's a little bit cramped but hey, that's not my problem. Business is business.

"I wouldn't live in the estate myself, it's a bit of a dive, but you know what, throw the tenants in, pack them tight and collect the money . . . €5,000 a month, nothing wrong with that."

When asked on RTÉ Radio 1 about whether the video was funny, Mr Doyle responded: "Well I found it funny and my friends found it funny."

Ms McInerney then alluded to the many tenants living in cramped conditions across Dublin, and whether they would find it funny.

Mr Doyle, a former contestant on 'Dragons' Den', posted another video on his social media accounts on Monday night where he said "there was going to be public outcry" over the video.

"I'm after doing something very outrage-able to help people with their absolute desire and appetite to be outraged on social media," he said in an Instagram video.

When asked to comment, Mr Doyle said: "It's a complete joke.

"I definitely don't have two families sharing a kitchen or bathroom, and I definitely don't charge more rent for a dog," he added.

However, the video has been met with criticism.

Sinn Féin's housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin described it as "distasteful" in the midst of a housing crisis when people are living in the above conditions.

"Whether it's intended as a joke or not, it is wholly inappropriate," he told the Irish Independent.

"Joe is a well-known local landlord here in Clondalkin and if he thinks this is a humorous way to promote his business, it is deeply distasteful.

"There are substantial levels of overcrowding in Dublin and we have lots of families genuinely living in those conditions."

In 2013, Mr Doyle secured a €10,000 investment on RTÉ show 'Dragons' Den' for a website that would allow landlords to get accurate references of potential tenants.

In a previous interview with the Irish Independent, he said he "specialises in renting properties to people who are in receipt of social welfare payments, or some sort of Government-assisted payment".

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin is today publishing the scheme of a bill which would ban any domestic rent increases for three years.

Irish Independent