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Pregnant doctor forced to move out of apartment as she battles coronavirus on front lines, former TD claims

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Ruth Coppinger lost her Dáil seat in the recent election. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Ruth Coppinger lost her Dáil seat in the recent election. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

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Ruth Coppinger lost her Dáil seat in the recent election. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A PREGNANT doctor was forced to move from her apartment even as she battles the coronavirus on the front lines, a former TD claims.

Ruth Coppinger, who represented Dublin West but lost her seat in the general election, said the doctor contacted her to raise the case, which highlights the lack of rights for licensee tenants – those who live with their landlords.

The charity Threshold has pointed out that if you share accommodation with your landlord, normal landlord and tenant laws do not apply and a licensee is not able to avail of the dispute mechanisms available for tenants.

“The woman was living with her landlord. The landlord had been away with her boyfriend and she noticed when they came back they had been coughing a lot.

“She sent a message advising them that they should self-isolate and all that and said if they needed anything she would help out,” Ms Coppinger told Independent.ie.

However, the doctor later received a message from the landlord that her boyfriend was moving in and so she wanted her out of the apartment.

Originally the tenant had been due to leave the apartment in July, but the termination was moved to April 29.

Ms Coppinger said the doctor has now moved out and is already living with a friend.

The former TD shared the messages from the doctor and landlord, none of whom were named, on social media to highlight the case and how vulnerable such tenants can be.

“These licensee tenants are not entitled to a proper notice period,” she said.

Speaking ahead of Government legislation on banning evictions during the Covid 19 crisis, Ms Coppinger said any legislation being brought by government this week to stop evictions must include licensee tenants.

“Many essential workers in the health service are in licensee rental arrangements and it is obscene that they can be evicted during the pandemic when they are so badly needed by us,” she said.

A spokesperson for Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy did not respond when asked if licensee tenants would be protect in plans to prevent evictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Online Editors