Landlord forced pregnant woman to leave home ‘because of crying baby’
Dáil told property owners ‘brazen’ as cards stacked in their favour with Fine Gael in power
A six months pregnant woman was forced to leave her private rental accommodation because her landlord did not want other tenants disturbed by a crying child, the Dáil has been told. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty
A six-months pregnant woman was forced to leave her private rental accommodation because her landlord did not want other tenants disturbed by a crying child, the Dáil has been told.
Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire highlighted the case outlined by housing charity Threshold, which said this was not an isolated incident.
Mr Ó Laoghaire said the agency gave an account in the Evening Echo of “another incident of a woman living in private accommodation where a new baby was not wanted by the landlord and she was forced into homelessness and emergency accommodation with her newborn baby”.
Mr Ó Laoghaire claimed landlords were being “brazen because the deck is stacked in their favour and they know the deck is stacked” under this government and they have power over the tenant.
Mr Ó Laoghaire asked Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: “Can you even begin to imagine the stress, the worry and the anxiety” caused to that pregnant woman.
He said these cases illustrated the depths of the crisis faced by renters under the Government’s tenure.
And the 10,500 homeless people “deserved better than what they got last night” when the Government survived a motion of no confidence in Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy by 56 votes to 53.
He asked “where has all this got you in your desperate attempt to defend your Minister” when 4,000 children would wait for Santa this Christmas in emergency accommodation.
He accused the Taoiseach of arm twisting and cajoling three Independents and “you even bussed in the absent TD for Cork North Central for the vote” in reference to controversial TD Dara Murphy.
He said the Taoiseach kept saying they needed more time “but you’ve been in power since 2011 and Mr Murphy since 2017”.
The Cork South-Central TD renewed his party’s call for a rent freeze, a measure that all sides on the House would support, and which would help reduce rents.
He said the Government had failed to protect families from vulture funds and eviction and had taken “the side of landlords and property speculators”.
Mr Varadkar said “pregnancy is not grounds for eviction which is illegal” and that was why the Rental Tenancies Board (RTB) was in place to help enforce tenants’ rights.
The Taoiseach was not familiar with the case and when Mr Ó Laoghaire subsequently said that the landlord in the case was fined, Mr Varadkar said “I’m reassured to hear that the law was enforced”.
He added that “while most landlords may well be good people there are bad ones out there we have laws to deal with them and we have the RTB for enforcement”.
He said “the core of the solution to the housing shortage is more supply and that’s what we are doing”.
Mr Varadkar said they could not turn construction on and off like a tap and that because of the economic crisis the construction industry had been on the floor with nearly 100,000 people emigrating, many of them construction workers.
He said there was no comparison between where they were three years ago and now with significant house constructions and building underway.