Meanwhile, last Thursday, the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill was passed, ensuring, among other things, that landlords could not evict tenants or increase rents over the three-month Covid-19 emergency period.
Via Neasa Hourigan
Maria, in Dublin, tweeted:
Since last month, two of my housemates lost their job. They don’t have any savings. They both used to work in a hotel so there’s no way they’re going to get their jobs back anytime soon, not even after the lockdown is over. Naturally, they are unable to afford rent at the moment.
Given the situation, we asked our landlord to meet us halfway. We asked to pay half the rent as long as the emergency lasts. We didn’t ask to live in the house for free. We didn’t refuse to pay rent (though, I believe, this would be a legitimate action).
We simply told the truth: there is no money for him to take. He replied at first saying we all have responsibilities, i.e., he sees giving him money as our moral duty, and said we needed to discuss this.
We had a Skype call a few days after, in which he tried extremely hard to portray himself as a victim, said the mortgage is only temporarily frozen so he’ll need the money for it in the future, said he needs to send money to his daughter in Australia, said he’s also out of job. Ok.
This man rents three houses he inherited in Dublin, one house in Spain, one in Portugal (that we know of). He’s getting some more than €3,000 a month, tax-free, from our house alone, in which he’s trying to push in a fifth housemate to get even more.
He said each of us should “sort out our finances” and give him this month as MUCH AS WE COULD, and will we owe him the rest once this is over. My housemate has ZERO at the moment. She’s never going to get back the money she lost since her job shut down.
He thinks that in three months she will have €2,250 just for him. I don’t know if greediness makes these people delusional, I don’t know how this reasoning makes sense in their dried-up brains.
She had to explain again to him that she simply doesn’t know when and if she’ll ever have that money, at which point he lost it and shouted that she already owed him money from last month’s rent. Knowing all of us were there with her.
I said he should just keep our deposits … this month, being that is our money that he’s keeping for emergencies, to which he just replied ‘no’ and didn’t even want to discuss about it. He said we should know by now eviction is not something he does, which, coming from him, is already a threat in itself.
At this point, I don’t know how to go on. I’m sick of having to think and talk about money. I’m sick of having to explain why this greediness is irrational, impracticable, and destroying people’s lives. I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere but in Dublin.
This afternoon, Maria tweeted an update about her situation…
Previously: One Flu Over The Cuckoo’s Nest