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 Friend in a spot of bother.

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PostSubject: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:39 pm

Hi. I hope someone can advise on this. My friend recently had a stroke
and has had to go on disability benefit as a result. He asked
his landlord of four years to sign a rent allowance form. The landlord
refused. The community welfare officer even rang the landlord to beg
him to sign but he still refused. It all got a bit tense as you can
imagine.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the landlord (who lives beside them)
stopped my friend in the drive and demanded the rent off him. My friend
refused and said he would give him the rent when the landlord gave him
a receipt. The landlord promptly gave him two weeks to get out of the
house.

Rather than put up a fight, my friend decided to move. Now the landlord
is refusing to give him his deposit back and has parked a trailer in
front of his car so he can't get it out. He says he can't have the car
back until he pays the rent.

Any suggestions what he can do?

I've posted this on a couple of sites to get maximum feedback.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:46 pm

Parking a trailer in a drive is risky. They are easily stolen. Would be a shame if anything happened it.

The landlord is being an ass. But short of calling the gardai I can't see what your friend can do to get his deposit back.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:50 pm

Jaysus, landlord sounds like a right prick.

He could check with the PRTB (private rental tenancies board) if the landlord is registered with them. If the landlord is claiming mortgage interest relief on the property then it is a legal requirement to be registered.

I would think that his refusal to sign the form or issue a receipt is possibly because he is hiding his rental income from the Revenue.

I signed these forms for my 2 tenants just before christmas because they were put on a 3 day week. There is no issue if the tenancy and related tax matters are above board.

The PRTB also have a dispute resolution service.


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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:51 pm

eoinmn wrote:
Parking a trailer in a drive is risky. They are easily stolen. Would be a shame if anything happened it.

The landlord is being an ass. But short of calling the gardai I can't see what your friend can do to get his deposit back.
How much is the trailer worth?
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:55 pm

coc wrote:
eoinmn wrote:
Parking a trailer in a drive is risky. They are easily stolen. Would be a shame if anything happened it.

The landlord is being an ass. But short of calling the gardai I can't see what your friend can do to get his deposit back.
How much is the trailer worth?
I've no idea how much it is worth. The thing is that in order to get to my mate's house you have to go down the landlord's drive. My mate is really not up for an altercation.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:03 pm

The PRTB now have a register of tenancies. If the landlord is registered it will be there. If not, your friend can report him for not complying with the registration requirements in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 I think.

See THIS FAQ.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:05 pm

A quick update. He's just got Threshold to phone landlord and they
mentioned PRTB. He told them to f*** off. Also it's not a trailer in
front of it, it's a van.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:09 pm

floatingingalway wrote:
A quick update. He's just got Threshold to phone landlord and they
mentioned PRTB. He told them to f*** off. Also it's not a trailer in
front of it, it's a van.

Well then he's a tax evading bollox, and that's the way to cause him pain.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:11 pm

This came up on Joe Duffy yesterday Very Happy

Any dispute that the landlord has with your friend does not entitle him to act illegally. I am not a legal advisor, but it sounds to me as if obstructing your friend and stopping him move his car most probably is illegal.

He may need to call the Gards, subject to someone confirming this: Threshold should be able to I would have thought. His health is most important, it sounds as if he just needs to get out of there.

The dispute over the rent payment versus the deposit sounds as if it would take time through the legal channels.

The landlord is obliged to register the property - has he?

How much does your friend think he is owed?
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:13 pm

cactus flower wrote:
This came up on Joe Duffy yesterday Very Happy

Any dispute that the landlord has with your friend does not entitle him to act illegally. I am not a legal advisor, but it sounds to me as if obstructing your friend and stopping him move his car most probably is illegal.

He may need to call the Gards, subject to someone confirming this: Threshold should be able to I would have thought. His health is most important, it sounds as if he just needs to get out of there.

The dispute over the rent payment versus the deposit sounds as if it would take time through the legal channels.

The landlord is obliged to register the property - has he?

How much does your friend think he is owed?

I'm meeting him in a while to show him all the various responses. I'll know more then.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:17 pm

What a bastard (the landlord). I know two weeks isn't enough time - legally I thought they had to give a months notice. Threshold or the PRTB should be able to help. I'd got advice from them (Threshold specifically) before and found them excellent. The PRTB was great for a while because a lto of landlords were clueless about it and it was a great way to threaten them. (our landlord who wasn't returning our calls when we asked him why he was not paying our deposit changed his tune very quickly).

I'm sure there are several legal avenues he can explore. There are probably loads of soliciors offering free consultations in the city - have him talk to one of those. Or a citizens advice centre if they are still around.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:19 pm

Might be an idea for your friend to call the Gardaí.

Even if your friend owed this person money, the landlord has no right to hold your friend's property or indeed your friend to ransom.

There are a number of crimes this landlord is committing by holding your friend imprisoned. The gardaí would be my first port of call here.

Before calling the Gardaí, I'd give it one last shot at dealing with the landlord. I'd go to him with either a video camera or a dictaphone and demand that he allow your friend to leave with his property. If the landlord refuses to engage, refuses to allow your friend to leave or threatens him, make that call.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:20 pm

cactus flower wrote:
This came up on Joe Duffy yesterday Very Happy

Any dispute that the landlord has with your friend does not entitle him to act illegally. I am not a legal advisor, but it sounds to me as if obstructing your friend and stopping him move his car most probably is illegal.

He may need to call the Gards, subject to someone confirming this: Threshold should be able to I would have thought. His health is most important, it sounds as if he just needs to get out of there.

The dispute over the rent payment versus the deposit sounds as if it would take time through the legal channels.

The landlord is obliged to register the property - has he?

How much does your friend think he is owed?

This is excellent advice. A call to the police should be made. The landlord sounds like a bastard - can you name and shame?
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:23 pm

I would contact the Gardaí. The landlord has no right to impound property which is not his own. Calling the Gardaí is the cheapest option for your friend as it is free but if he does not get satisfaction there he will have recourse with a solicitor, though I am not prepared to outline the various causes of action online. First port of call should be the Gardaí though.

Don't name and shame on a whim. It could cause far more pain to your friend than it would ever give him in satisfaction. In any situation like this, particularly given your friend's situation, the most important thing is achieving a satisfactory resolution. Anything which inflames the situation is unwise, at least until the situation has been resolved.

In regard to the deposit issue your friend should contact the Private Residential Tenancies Board who will be able to advise him of his rights. It is through this body that he can enforce his rights and he can do so without legal representation.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:56 pm

Take a load of photos of the van blocking the car. Get a friend to accompany him while taking the photos as an independent witness. Write out a choronology of events and bring it and a copy of any lease agreement and details of all rent paid to a solicitor. Also, give solicitor details of rent allowance which would otherwise be payable.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:12 pm

Yep, extremely important that a log is taken, as many photos and the like as possible, for later use. Plus, why not ring the local paper for a bit of publicity? The chap is clearly diddling the figures, if he's declaring them at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:30 pm

Update. He rang Gardai who confirmed the landlord is breaking the law. He is going tomorrow to try to retrieve the car.

If anyone from the media is reading this thread, my friend says he is happy to talk to them. PM me for his number.

Thanks again to everyone who has responded.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:09 pm

I doubt that the Gardai can or will do anything to help him.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:25 pm

I had something similar happen to me with a landlord over 20 years ago. It's a sad reflection of the regulation in the area that this kind of thing is still happening to tenants. I hope your friend gets sorted. Once he does - make sure to drop a line to the revenue commissioners. That landlord definitely deserves auditing. My journalist hubby suggests if he still can't get his car out he should contact the newsdesks at the Sun, Star and Mirror who may be interested especially if they can get a photo of the trailer blocking the car and he should play up the disability issue. He also says the Liveline Joe Duffy show may be interested.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:02 pm

Update
We went out there yesterday afternoon and got the car. The chat the Gardai had with the landlord must have worked because he didn't give us a spot of bother. He didn't mention a word about the supposed arrears either. Not such a big man when my friend had his friends with him. Roll on the PRTB.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:04 pm

floatingingalway wrote:
Update
We went out there yesterday afternoon and got the car. The chat the Gardai had with the landlord must have worked because he didn't give us a spot of bother. He didn't mention a word about the supposed arrears either. Not such a big man when my friend had his friends with him. Roll on the PRTB.


Excellent. Very Happy Good health and a happy new home to your friend.
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PostSubject: Re: Friend in a spot of bother.   Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:15 pm

I am glad you managed to achieve a satisfactory resolution.

Just don't go ringing Joe Duffy or anything until you are out the other side of the Private Residential Tenancies Board Very Happy.
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