Arrears Of Buy-To-Let Owners Affecting Tenants

Sheriffs are evicting tenants of buy-to-let properties when owners fall into arrears, housing charity Threshold has claimed.

The charity said it is receiving two or three calls a week from desperate renters caught up in the crossfire between landlords and financial institutions.

“There is a huge issue here that has to be addressed,” she warned.

Bob Jordan, the charity’s director, said financial institutions sometimes ignore the rights of tenants in their pursuit of the landlord’s assets.

“A worrying new phenomenon is the appointment of rent receivers by lending institutions, to bypass landlords and collect the rent directly from tenants,” he said.

“The first time the tenant hears about it is when a sheriff knocks on the door to repossess the property.”

Threshold’s annual report showed more than 23,000 people needed assistance in 2011.

It said since the economic crisis both employed and unemployed are competing for the limited pool of rented properties, leaving first-time renters and vulnerable tenants susceptible to rogue landlords, it claimed.

More than 3,200 queries related to the illegal retention of tenants’ deposits by landlords, which is estimated to be worth up to €2 million.

“Deposit retention has become one of the greatest barriers to the smooth operation of the private rented sector,” Mr Jordan added.

“While landlords are entitled to keep deposits in certain circumstances, almost 80 per cent of deposit disputes that go before the Private Residential Tenancies Board result in some or all of the money being returned to the tenant, proving that most landlord claims are not legitimate.

“This matter of unlawfully retained deposits will only be resolved when deposits are no longer held directly by the landlords.”


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