Mould, sewage and vermin: Cork renters afraid to speak up for fear of eviction

Southern regional manager for Threshold, Edel Conlon said she fears that many are not speaking up due to fears of being left homeless
Mould, sewage and vermin: Cork renters afraid to speak up for fear of eviction

A number of concerns from renters were raised with Threshold, an advocacy organisation preventing homelessness, which say that many are still afraid to speak out about negligent landlords.

CORK’S housing crisis is leaving some families trapped in horrific living conditions which include exposure to raw sewage in their own kitchens.

A number of concerns from renters were raised with Threshold, an advocacy organisation preventing homelessness, which say that many are still afraid to speak out about negligent landlords.

Southern regional manager for Threshold, Edel Conlon said she fears that many are not speaking up due to fears of being left homeless.

It comes as the charity dealt with some 1,338 eviction notices to date this year. Of that figure, 723 were invalid with 615 valid notices issued. Ms Conlon said: “Before tenancy termination wasn’t as much of a big deal because people could move nearby. Now the properties just aren’t available.”

Regina Baylor, assistant manager at the Regional Tenancy Protection Service, listed some of the issues the charity has been dealing with.

“When you look at photographs of what people are living in, you wonder how anyone can live this way. We are seeing holes in the floor with vermin coming out of them and even sewage coming into the kitchen.”

“The mould, in particular, is extremely dangerous for children living there.”

Complaints are usually serious, she said.

“The complaints we are getting aren’t about a lack of paint or furniture,” she said. 

“If this is the case, neighbours and friends will step in with old furniture or to help out. There is water seeping down the walls, and this is in private rental accommodation.”

She described the actions taken to combat the presence of sewage in one household.

“We got the council out straight away because it was such a serious health and safety issue,” she said. This happened in private rental accommodation.On a daily basis, there are calls about plumbing issues, rat infestations and even leaking sewage. People tend to put up with substandard conditions just to be able to stay in a place.”

She also said that the lack of accommodation coupled with landlords leaving the market has put renters at increased risk of homelessness.

“The Government is going to have to do something drastic if anything is to improve in the next few years,” she added.

Threshold is running a campaign, Own Your Own Rights, educating people on their rights as a renter. To find out more visit [url=

https://threshold.ie/ownyourrights/]www.ownyourrights.ie[/url]. 

Threshold offices are open from 9.30am-5pm and can be reached on 1800 454454. Donations can be made at www.threshold.ie.

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