Landlord who subjected tenant to racist abuse ordered to pay €15,000

Tenant produced video recording of interaction with landlord at WRC hearing

As a result of the conditions of the house, the tenant said he sought to declare himself homeless so he could be accommodated elsewhere.

As a result of the conditions of the house, the tenant said he sought to declare himself homeless so he could be accommodated elsewhere.

 

A landlord who subjected a Congolese-born tenant to a tirade of foul mouthed racist abuse has been ordered to pay €15,000 compensation to the man.

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has ordered landlord Martin Fleming to pay Wally Nkikita the maximum compensation allowed under the Equal Status Act for harassment on grounds of race.

WRC Adjudication Officer Breiffni O’Neill said the €15,000 award was appropriate having witnessed the effects the discriminatory treatment has had on the complainant.

On the basis of the evidence from Mr Nkikita and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary he said: “I am satisfied that the respondent repeatedly subjected him to hostile and intimidating behaviour and called him offensive names, which constitutes harassment”.

Mr Nkikita produced to the WRC a video recording of an interaction he had with Mr Fleming on January 5th 2019 when he approached him to fix an alarm.

In his report, Mr O’Neill stated that Mr Fleming referred to Mr Nkikita as “a black p***k, a black f***ker, a black c**t.”

In evidence before the WRC, Mr Nkikita also claimed that Mr Fleming physically assaulted him with a brush on that occasion and that when he made him aware he was recording the conversation Mr Fleming - whose address was not given - said he could “play the recording next to his flute in the Congo next week”.

Toilet

Mr Nkikita also said he asked the landlord to fix the toilet on numerous occasions but that when he did so the landlord abused him using racial epithets, threatened to cut his head off and send him “on a slow boat back to the Congo”.

The landlord, he said, informed him there was nothing wrong with the toilet except for the fact that his wife was “sh***ing and putting too much toilet paper into it”.

Mr Nkikita said when he attempted to unblock the toilet himself, faeces came into the shower which meant they had to bathe using a bucket.

As a result of the failure to fix the toilet both he and his wife had to go to the petrol station to use the toilet there.

Mr Nkikita also claimed there were worms in the property as a result of neglect and produced photographic evidence of the rooms in the property. The location of the property is not cited in the published WRC ruling.

As a result of the conditions of the house, Mr Nkikita said he sought to declare himself homeless so he could be accommodated elsewhere.

He came to Ireland in 2010 and was in direct provision for six years prior to renting the property from Mr Fleming in August 2016.

Mr Nkikita’s evidence was uncontested as the landlord didn’t show up for the hearing.

Mr O’Neill stated: “Despite having been informed by letter on 3rd of October of the location, date and time of the hearing, the respondent did not attend to give evidence.”