Saturday 24 August 2019

'The landlord wouldn't let me put in baby furniture'

Twenties Name: Leonardo dos Santos

Leonardo with his partner Tabata and their two-month-old daughter Stella in the apartment they rent in Rathfarnham. Picture by Frank Mc Grath
Leonardo with his partner Tabata and their two-month-old daughter Stella in the apartment they rent in Rathfarnham. Picture by Frank Mc Grath

Leonardo dos Santos and his partner Tabata had to move out of one apartment after the landlord refused to allow them to put baby furniture in one of the bedrooms for their daughter Stella.

Leonardo, who works as a software engineer, moved here last year to take up a job.

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He was surprised how difficult it was to find an apartment, and attended dozens of viewings with queues stretching outside the building.

The Brazilian IT worker says in his home country, tenants have a lot more control over the property and can make it like a home, so long as they leave it in the same state as when they arrive.

"In Ireland, everything is so tightly controlled - you are like a guest overpaying to be in someone else's apartment."

The couple pay €1,900 per month for their two-bed flat - half of his net income.

Even paying an enormous rent, the couple were barred from organising one of the bedrooms for their baby in their first flat in Ireland.

He says he feels more pressure since his daughter Stella was born.

He worries about the hardships he could face if the landlord wanted to sell and he had to find another place at a higher rent.

"It's a constant cloud of fear hovering over us that if the prices keep rising, soon we won't be able to afford a place."

He has no doubt that the spiralling property prices are discouraging skilled people in his industry from coming to Ireland.

He had friends who were considered coming here, but decided against it because of the accommodation costs.

"I told them it's a great place to live, but it's rental madness.

"The prices are out of control."

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