Landlord who threatened to take tenant ‘by the head’ and remove her from property ordered to pay €17,500

RTB ordered another landlord to pay tenant €10,000 in damages after an illegal eviction in which the locks were changed while he left to buy milk

Neighbours of a tenant living in Chapelizod, Co Dublin, were subjected to death threats, vandalism and attempted forced entry 'with violent intent', an RTB tribunal heard

A landlord who threatened to take his tenant “by the head” and remove her from a property “if necessary” has been ordered to pay €17,500 in damages by a Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) tribunal.

A hearing held in March was told how the tenant and her two children were evicted “on to the street” and left homeless after the landlord changed the locks of the property in Limerick city in August.

The tenant slept in her car for two nights while her children stayed with her ex-husband’s parents who lived nearby. She had been staying in emergency accommodation for the eight months leading up to the hearing, the tribunal heard.

The tribunal ruled that the tenancy was unlawfully terminated and described as “most worrying” the threats made before the illegal eviction to take her “by the head”, which the landlord admitted to.


The landlord argued that the woman was not, in fact, a tenant as the original lease named her ex-husband only, though the tribunal ruled that she was a tenant as she paid rent monthly.

‘Fear of homelessness’: Why tenants do not vacate rental properties after receiving termination noticesOpens in new window ]

In another case, details of which have been released by the RTB, a landlord in Waterford was ordered to pay a tenant €10,000 in damages after an illegal eviction, in which the locks were changed while he left to buy milk.

The landlord had previously informed his tenant that the tenancy was being terminated with two days’ notice through a WhatsApp message in September 2023, which was invalid.

The reason of a failure to pay rent was not substantiated, the tribunal noted, while the tenant said the landlord had in the past tried to increase his rent by €200 to €700.

Ten days after receiving the WhatsApp message, the tenant could not enter the property after taking a short walk to buy milk as the locks had been changed.

He tried to contact the landlord through a borrowed phone but there was no response and he subsequently had to enlist the help of the RTB to collect his belongings.

The tenant told the hearing in March that he had been homeless since the eviction, and described the hostel he was living in as a difficult environment where “drugs and drink are prevalent”.

The tenant said he had been going from place to place since the eviction and has had to sleep on the streets on occasion.

The tribunal described the landlord’s “blatant disregard” for the tenant before ordering him to pay €10,000 in damages.

Landlord who evicted woman and her children before Christmas must pay more than €12,000Opens in new window ]

Separately, neighbours of a tenant living in Chapelizod, Co Dublin, were subjected to death threats, vandalism and attempted forced entry “with violent intent”, a tribunal heard.

The tribunal in March was told how neighbours of the tenant expressed “deep fear, anxiety and sleepless nights”, while gardaí had been called out on several occasions due to his behaviour.

One neighbour recalled returning home to the tenant and three others trying to force entry into his apartment in May 2023. A man who was with the tenant smashed the neighbour’s windows using a crowbar and tried to unlock the door before gardaí were called. A trail of blood led back to the tenant’s dwelling, the tribunal heard.

The witness recalled one of the two women involved threatening to shoot him the following day. He said he no longer felt safe in his apartment, which had to be boarded up, and he eventually moved elsewhere.

A representative for the landlord said there was “a huge level of fear and intimidation” among other tenants who were afraid to come forward openly and that there had been no criminal prosecution by the time of the hearing. The landlord asked the tribunal to make a finding of serious antisocial behaviour.

The tenant had been issued a warning in July, while mediation through the RTB had failed.

The tenant, who did not attend the hearing, was found to be in breach of his obligations due to antisocial behaviour.

Jack White

Jack White

Jack White is a reporter for The Irish Times