Family don’t feel safe living in ‘fire hazard’ rented house
A FAMILY don’t feel safe in their rented house as neither the front door or back door can be locked.
In addition to this, none of the windows in the two-bed property have proper handles, and there are plenty of snags and leaks to contend with.
It creates massive security concerns for Sinead Nevin, her husband and their three kids (aged 11, 10, 6), who all live in the house at Weaver Court in Neilstown.
“It is a fire hazard, the windows have to be left open all the time. There is no way of putting a key into the front door,” said Sinead.
The Echo photographer who went to take a picture of Sinead on Tuesday was a few minutes early, he knocked on the front door, and hey presto, it opened.
A couple of minutes later, Sinead arrived home with her kids from school.
Sinead is also the carer for her father who is very ill.
“I’m afraid to leave the house. My Dad has cancer in the throat, lives in Ballyfermot. I can’t have him over here because the house is too cold. I’m his carer and have to go to Ballyfermot three times a day.”
Ms Nevin said she has been on the council housing list since 2012, but was moved back to the list from the date 2015, after the family failed to respond to a letter sent to the house by the council.
“I can’t read or write,” she said.
“We have had an appeal turned down twice. The council is aware of the problems in this place, but they are constantly telling us there is nothing they can do.”
TD Mark Ward (SF), who is working on behalf of the family, said there needs to be “safeguards” in place to prevent cases like this slipping through the cracks.
Sinead’s rent is paid through her social welfare via the Department of Social Protection.
Deputy Ward said: “If it is a HAP tenant, the council have responsibility to send out an inspector, but the family here, don’t have the same protection.
“HAP is the new way. This was the old way of doing things. But this is still public money. The Dept need some safeguards. The RTB need to step in on behalf of the tenant and advocate for them if the housing is not up to standard.”
The Department of Social Protection told The Echo: “While the Department of Social Protection pays Rent Supplement to people who are in privately rented accommodation, it has no role in determining whether a property is suitable or not for tenancy when deciding if the rent supplement is payable.
“The Department requires confirmation from the landlord that the property is being rented to the person who has applied for the rent supplement.
“Where a tenant has an issue with the property they are renting and they are dissatisfied with the response they are getting from the landlord, they should contact the Residential Tenancies Board.”