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Landlady to pay more than €10,000 to tenants over unlawful ‘aggressive’ eviction from Cork house

Student was in middle of Christmas exams when his possessions were thrown on footpath at about 2am, Residential Tenancies Board told

A Residential Tenancies Board tribunal directed the landlady to pay €7,100 to a male student, and a female tenant was separately awarded €3,500

A landlady has been ordered to pay more than €10,000 to two tenants, a male student and a female worker, over their unlawful sudden and “aggressive” eviction from a house in Cork.

A Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) tribunal directed the landlady to pay €7,100 to the student, whose possessions were thrown on to the footpath at about 2am on a December morning two years ago while he was in the middle of exams. A female tenant was separately awarded €3,500.

Most of the awards comprised damages for upset and distress caused to both by the unlawful eviction but also included €500 to each over breaches of their right to peaceful occupation of the dwelling.

The student had to return to his parents’ home in Kerry from where he was driven daily by his mother to University College Cork to complete his exams, the tribunal noted in its recently published determination.


The woman, who was put up by a neighbour overnight after being left on to the street with nowhere to go, moved abroad after finding it difficult to find alternative accommodation at short notice “in the midst of a housing crisis”, it said.

It found the dwelling fell within the jurisdiction of the Residential Tenancies Act which prevents termination of tenancies by a landlord by means of re-entry. No warning letter was served and two people connected with the landlady had entered the premises without permission.

The tribunal accepted the eviction caused considerable upset and stress to the female tenant, noting her uncontested statement of evidence was corroborated by the student’s evidence and recordings he had made.

It was satisfied the “egregious” manner in which the tenancy was unlawfully terminated had serious consequence for the student who lost his home and many belongings, all while he was trying to sit for his Christmas exams, and accepted his evidence concerning the trauma and stress suffered by him.

The student’s mother, who had sourced the dwelling for him on, said she believed the landlady’s attitude changed after she learned the rent would be paid by bank transfer.

Among various claims by the tenants, who moved into the dwelling in early October 2022, it was alleged the landlady “bombarded” both with messages, entered the house regularly without permission, was abusive, turned up drunk with another person at the house once, and turned up at the young woman’s workplace.

The tribunal heard the two were evicted without notice on the night of December 9th, 2022. Two people linked to the landlady had turned up at the house on December 8th, entered it, stayed overnight, behaved threateningly, threw the student’s possessions on to the footpath outside, smashing his guitar, and filmed the young woman while she collected her possessions. He had lost items of sentimental value, including a teddy, which were left in the house, he said.

The landlady did not appear for the tribunal hearing last October but provided submissions arguing the arrangement was a short-term one and did not fall within the Residential Tenancies Act. The tribunal disagreed.

In his evidence the student said there was meant to be a third tenant but she only stayed one night due to issues with the landlady.

Among various claims he alleged the landlady sent him “threatening” texts in early October saying she wanted him out and turned up at the house on several occasions, shouting about the cleanliness of the premises. A handwritten unsigned eviction note was given to him on November 10th, and on November 23rd belongings he had stored in the sittingroom were thrown into the hall and the sittingroom door was locked.

Rent that had been paid by both tenants to the landlady’s account was sent back in December, he said. His father, whom he had asked to come to the house after encounters on December 8th with the two people linked to the landlady, was attacked and thrown out of the dwelling on the night of December 9th, he alleged.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times