Thursday 23 November 2017

'It was the worst experience of my life' - Tenant speaks out about life under the 108 'crazy rule landlady'

Alejandro Morgan on Henry Street in Dublin
Alejandro Morgan on Henry Street in Dublin
'Miss Firmo' (right) and the list of 'crazy' household rules (inset)
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A tenant who recently moved out of a house where the woman subletting the property gave him 108 rules to live by says it was the "worst experience of my life".

Alejandro Morgan has been living in Ireland for just two months and thought his horrible rental experience was the norm here, as he didn't know any different.

Originally from Barcelona, Alejandro (26) came across Susi Medeiros, otherwise known as 'Miss Firmo', through an advertisement on Daft.ie.

She used the name 'Vicky' in her advert and made the tenancy sound very appealing - due to the cheap rent - €350 per month plus €80 in bills.

Independent.ie recently exposed Ms Medeiros as a "serial offender" on the Irish rental market - owing over €40,000 in rent arrears and subletting properties.

The tenants were told they could not leave the heating on for more than two hours as they risked getting carbon monoxide poisoning if they did.

Alejandro said he had a chest infection from living in the damp and cold conditions, but is much happier in his new home.

"Living in that house has been the worst experience of my life," Alejandro told Independent.ie.

"Besides mould and coldness in the room, I felt treated like a second class person.

"It isn’t possible to reach agreement or understanding with a person who doesn’t listen and thinks that you have no right to talk, who tries to control what you do, who judges and accuses you for every single fault that occurs in the house, even if it is or is not related to you.

"I was only one month living there, but it seemed so much longer."

Alejandro is now renting accommodation elsewhere, and admits he is much happier.

"This woman has been exploiting her landlords and her subtenants for years, and we haven’t found anything useful to stop her. It doesn’t make sense that in a country like Ireland these things can happen.

"The new house doesn’t have mould, we live without cold, and there isn’t a woman harassing you the whole day. It could be better, but after a month in that jail, any improvement feels great."

Another former tenant of a property rented by Ms Medeiros on the Navan Road got in touch with Independent.ie after the publication of the original article.

The email read:

"I thank you for publishing the Miss Firmo’s article. I was one of the victims at Villa Park Gardens, Navan Road. That woman made me hate being a human being. I really thank you for this."

Some of the rules she imposed on the tenants included:

“Have at least one shower a day; wear deodorant; treat your cheesy shoes and feet especially during the autumn and winter”;

“You can only speak English while in the house”;

“Smile you are on TV! Be advised there are hiding cameras in the common areas of the house”.

Martin Clancy of Daft.ie said that they liaise with gardaí to try and deal with people like Susi Medeiros.

"As we are a property portal we don't deal with the properties themselves directly, however we do work with the gardaí in combating scammers.

"We do operate a robust notice and take down policy and each ad on Daft.ie has a "Report ad" button which users can click on if they have concerns.

"Our content team also has monitoring in place to combat scamming."

Independent.ie contacted Ms Medeiros but she declined to comment.

Speaking previously, she outlined that she was just trying to help tackle Ireland's housing crisis.

“I need to have CCTV footage in the house as people have insulted me in the past and these people leave without paying rent.

“I am nothing but nice to these people. I originally rented the property by myself and now rent to other people because there is a housing crisis in Ireland.

“If you print anything that is not true, I will get your ass.”

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