Landlord put Dublin beach ‘shack’ up for rent at €1,100 per month

Ad for property in Donabate described as ‘off-grid’ prompted call for removal

A property advertised online for private rental accommodation in Dublin has been described as “a hut” and “a shack” by a local TD who called on Fingal County Council to carry out an inspection.

The property, called Egansfield, is located in Donabate and was viewed at least 1,692 times on before the listing was taken down after The Irish Times contacted the landlord.

The property was described as a “studio” by owner David Byrne, who had set the rent at €1,100 per month.

Photographs of the property appeared to show rooms in various states of disrepair, as well as an outside area that is overgrown.


The landlord described the property as “beach front” and “off-grid” in a “peaceful neck of the woods”.

He said it would “suit someone who loves the sound of the sea, nature, [and] the sound of rain on the roof”.

The advertisement further stated that the property included a bathroom, a large sunroom, a bedroom, a kitchen with a gas hob and fridge, wifi and a sundeck. It was described as being 15m from the high-tide line and “literally on the beach”.

It was described as “fully furnished” with a minimum lease term of one year.

Before the advertisement was taken down, local Labour TD Duncan Smith called for it to be removed pending an inspection by the local authority, which is responsible for enforcing minimum standards in rented accommodation.

“It looks like a hut or a shack,” he said. “I’m sure it will have applicants because of the homelessness crisis at the moment.

“It just goes to show that this is what the crisis of supply looks like. I think it should be removed from straight away with a view to it being inspected by the local authority to see if it is fit for purpose as a rental accommodation.

“I’m not sure how a property like that could pass any inspection to be suitable as an accommodation for private rental. They say it’s off the grid. I presume that means there is no electricity.

“It seems to be in a massive state of disrepair or just poorly constructed. I don’t know if it was ever in repair. The door doesn’t seem to close properly.

“For it to be charged at €1,100 euro just seems an absolute scandal. Putting that out there in a housing crisis when people are desperate and will just take anything.”

Mr Byrne, the landlord, told The Irish Times the property has since been rented by a man who had been living in a car.

“A chap was living in his car over in Tower Bay, having been thrown out of his home by his partner,” he said.

“He’s moved into the cabana and is happy as a sandboy in it. It’s basic off-grid and a lot better than trying to live in his car.

“If the local TD can organise the lad with a home, then that would be great. Meanwhile, I told him he’s welcome to shack up here as long as he likes.”

He did not specify how much rent the man is paying.

Before the removal of the advertisement, local Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly said: “That a landlord feels able to advertise a property of this nature is evidence of the scale of the housing crisis.

“In my constituency offices we are dealing with rising numbers of people who are being evicted – they are desperate and there is nowhere affordable for them to rent or buy. The scale of the housing crisis is making families very vulnerable to exploitation.”

Minimum standards for rented accommodation require landlords to ensure a property is free from damp and in a proper state of structural repair, both internally and externally.

The regulations require that roofs, roofing tiles, slates, windows, floors, ceilings, walls, stairs, doors, skirting boards, fascia, tiles on any floor, ceiling and wall, gutters, down pipes, fittings, furnishings, gardens and common areas must be maintained in a good condition.

The landlord must also ensure that electricity or gas supplies are safe and in good repair, and that every room has adequate ventilation and heating that tenants can control, and both natural and artificial lighting.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter