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51 social housing tenants in Dublin owe more than €27,000 each in unpaid rent

Average weekly rent paid by council tenants in Dublin city is €72

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Almost one-third of all tenants of council housing in Dublin city are in arrears with their rents.

New figures published by Dublin City Council show that out of a total of 25,159 local authority households in the city, 8,050 are behind with their rent payments – 32pc of all tenants.

There are 51 tenants who each owe in excess of €27,000, while a further 136 owe between €19,000 and €27,000.

Another 589 households have rent arrears of between €11,000 and €19,000.

Around one in eight of all council tenants in Dublin city owe the local authority between €2,000 and €7,000, while a similar proportion owe between €500 and €2,000.

The latest figures show the council was owed a total of almost €38.1m in arrears by tenants at the end of  last month.

However, the council’s executive manager in its housing and community services department, Frank D’Arcy, said the level of rent owing to the council by the end of 2022 is projected to fall below the €37.9m owed at the start of the year.

Mr D’Arcy also noted that 17,108 council tenants – 68pc of the total – were compliant in paying their rent when it was due.

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He pointed out that six in 10 tenants in arrears had also reached an agreement with the council to pay more than their regular rent to cut their level of arrears.

Mr D’Arcy said an average “performance agreement” reached between the council and a tenant would see them paying their weekly rent with an additional €10 of arrears.
However, Mr D’Arcy acknowledged that it would take some tenants with large arrears many years to pay off their debt.

In a new report to be presented to councillors this week, Mr D’Arcy said legal proceedings against tenants in arrears were only taken when all other options had been exhausted.

“As a last resort, Dublin City Council makes an application to the District Court to seek an order for possession of the property,” he added.

The council said it was very conscious of the traumatic and detrimental effect that losing a home could have on individuals and families.

“We do everything in our power to avoid this course of action but unfortunately in some cases we are left with no other option,” said Mr D’Arcy.

Dublin City Council has carried out two evictions this year and there are 13 other live orders for possession.

Six cases that had orders for possession issued were settled as a result of payments totalling €35,500 being paid to the council.

Another 120 files are with the council’s law department, of which 84 are due before the courts in the next two months.

Mr D’Arcy also noted that the period while a tenant is in arrears is not counted for time on the housing list when they are seeking a housing transfer.

The council also revealed that a new self-service online facility due to start next month will allow tenants of Dublin City Council to check if they are up to date with their rent.

The new service will be available via the council’s Citizen Hub.

Overall rental income from tenants is expected to reach a record €94.6m by the end of the year compared to just under €93.3m in 2021.

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