Mayo family facing €40,000 bill due to damage to rental property
Councillors demands action against unscrupulous tenants
Elected members of Castlebar Municipal District have voiced their concerns over the rising challenges faced by landlords dealing with property damage and anti-social behaviour by tenants.
Fine Gael councillor Ger Deere opened the discourse by sharing a distressing case involving a family who, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, fell into arrears and left a property in deplorable condition, requiring an estimated €40,000 for restoration.
Councillor Deere questioned the efficacy of the current system, expressing worry over the lack of deterrence for tenants seeking social or council housing despite causing significant damage.
Councillor Donna Sheridan echoed concerns about irresponsible tenants and called for enhanced protection for landlords and expressed dismay at the lack of penalties for anti-social behaviour within the council social housing list.
Councillor Blackie Gavin acknowledged the stress placed on landlords and raised questions about the increasing trend of private landlords exiting the market.
Independent councillor Michael Kilcoyne spoke about the prospect of excluding individuals involved in anti-social behaviour from housing, citing the need to consider their records and references.
The discussion touched on the role of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) an estate agent, expressing frustration over the RTB's tendency to favour tenants over landlords.
A Mayo County Council spokesperson has outlined the council's scheme of letting priorities and methods of obtaining information about potential tenants, highlighting their commitment to housing homeless families with children in emergency accommodation first.
The meeting concluded with a call for greater scrutiny in tenant selection and a shared commitment among councillors to address the pressing issues of property damage, anti-social behaviour, and the need for a more effective housing system in the Castlebar Municipal District to favour applicants with clean references and no history of arrears.