Tenants ‘tricked’ into leaving their homes, tribunal told

Landlord accused of issuing invalid notices to quit in two Dublin 4 properties

 

A landlord attempted to “trick” his low-income tenants into leaving their homes with invalid notices to quit (NTQ), a tribunal at the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) heard on Wednesday.

The RTB heard one of a series of appeals from four remaining households in two properties on Elgin Road, Ballsbridge. The 26 others have left.

The tenants argue when the first NTQ issued, in March 2018, there were 30 households. They argue the NTQs were subsequently found to be invalid and had the households not left on foot of the invalid notices, the tenants could have invoked the “Tyrellstown amendment”. This means when a property with 10 or more tenants is being sold, the tenants must be allowed stay.

In the original NTQ, owner Michael Whelan Snr said he wanted to “substantially refurbish or renovate . . . the property . . . in a way which requires the dwelling to be vacated” and that “planning permission is not required”.

However, a tenant later discovered the property was protected and planning permission needed. Tenants were issued with updated notices in October 2018.

In February and March the RTB ruled the original March 2018 notices were “invalid”. On March 25th Mr Whelan gave notice he intended selling the properties, with vacant possession. Wednesday’s tribunal heard an appeal from tenant Vera Avellanosa against a determination this NTQ was valid. She was represented by a friend who said tenants had been “tricked”.

Estate agent John Ryan, for Mr Whelan, said tenants were not tricked. He said notices were served in good faith. Chairman Kevin Baneham will issue his report in due course.