Landlord told to let family back into rented home he boarded up
Woman lived in Mulhuddart with young children and her mother, who has cancer
Tatiana Perju had been given notice by landlord Peter Wilson to quit a house (boarded up, above) at Saddlers Avenue, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15. He has been directed to allow them back into the property. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
A landlord who boarded up his rental property and locked out a mother and two young children has been ordered to let them back in.
A sitting of the Dublin Circuit Court late on Thursday heard Ms Perju had gone home to discover the house boarded up and that she was locked out, and that some of her possessions had been put into bags, tied up and placed outside the property.
Mr Wilson was allegedly inside the house and spoke to her through a window, but refused to let her back in. Living at the house at the time with 35-year-old Ms Perju were her daughters aged 3 and 10 and her mother, who acts as a babysitter and who has cancer.
Barrister Eoghan Cole, counsel for the Residential Tenancies Board, explained the situation to Judge Francis Comerford at a special sitting of the Circuit Civil Court, and today Mr Wilson was told to allow Ms Perju and her family access to the house.
They were to be allowed to “enjoy peaceful and exclusive occupation of the property”.
Ms Perju, a dental nurse in Mulhuddart, told Judge Comerford she had paid Wilson a deposit of €1,875, part of which he now proposed withholding towards refurbishment. She had paid him monthly rent of €1,250 in cash promptly, but had never received any receipts.
She also paid utility bills in cash without receipt of payment.
She said in June last she agreed a new tenancy for an increased rent of €1,300, and the parties proposed signing a new lease later.
Mr Wilson inspected the property at the end of July and noted proposed repairs.
Mr Cole had told Judge Comerford that Ms Perju had heard nothing more from her landlord until last Monday, October 9th, after she had taken her 10-year-old daughter to school, leaving her three-year-old with her grandmother, Ms Perju’s mother.
“I believe my mother and my baby daughter left the house at 12:45pm and when I went home on my lunch break at 1:15pm I found the door and windows boarded up with Mr Wilson and [his rent collector agent] John Brooks inside,” Ms Perju told the court.
Gardaí arrived but they told her the dispute was “a civil matter”.
“I left the area with some of my belongings in bags. . . and I went to stay with a friend where I and my family have lived since,” she said.
Ms Perju said a number of important medical and financial documents were still in the house. She denied assertions by Mr Wilson that she rented just a single room and that on Monday last she had six Romanians at the house.
She said the only Romanian citizens were herself, her mother and a friend.