Housing charity marks five years since opening of Mayo outreach service
National housing charity Threshold has carried out 606 actions relating to a total of 169 cases in Mayo in the last twelve months. The charity revealed the figures today as it marked five years since opening its dedicated outreach service in Mayo (17 June 2015).
The charity today urged renters in Mayo to contact its housing advisors for advice and support. Of the 169 cases dealt with by Threshold in Mayo over the last twelve months, the top issues faced by renters were tenancy terminations (22%), advice on leases (14%), property standards (12%), Housing Assistance Payment (11%) and deposit retention (9%). So far 15 cases in the county have involved a loss of income suffered by tenants as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Western Regional Services Manager at Threshold, Karina Timothy commented: “At Threshold we understand that issues in the private rented sector are not confined to the big cities, but are present all over Ireland. The almost 170 cases dealt with by Threshold in Mayo alone in the past twelve months shows the level of need for our services in the country. This number of cases represents a mix of households including individuals, couples and one- and two-parent families, all of whom are put at real risk of homelessness by shortcomings in the private rented sector.
“Tenancy terminations were by far the biggest issue that Threshold’s advisors helped renters in Mayo with in the last year and the vast majority of these cases involved Notices of Termination issued by landlords.”
The concerns faced by tenants in Mayo are illustrated by the example of one of Threshold’s clients, Seán*. A middle-aged, single man, Seán suffers from a debilitating health issue; he was living in sub-standard private rented accommodation in Mayo, which was affecting his recovery. Seán complained to his landlord about the standard of the property; in response his landlord served him with a Notice of Termination.
Seán contacted Threshold. His caseworker wrote to Seán’s landlord outlining the standards issues and the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the property, and informing him that the Notice of Termination he had provided was invalid. Within weeks the landlord carried out repairs, installed fire safety equipment and brought the accommodation up to an acceptable standard. Seán remains in his home.
“Standards and repairs issues were prevalent in Mayo over the last year, and Seán’s case illustrates why tenants can be reluctant to bring problems to their landlords’ attention,” Timothy said. “The work that Threshold does in Mayo and around the country is vital in ensuring that tenants’ rights are protected and that individuals, couples and families are kept safe in their homes.”
Threshold’s Mayo outreach clinic normally operates on the second Thursday of every month at Castlebar CIC, Cavendish House, Hopkins Road, Castlebar. This has been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Threshold’s helpline remains available Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm at 1800 454 454, and via its website at threshold.ie/advice/help for any renter in need of advice or support.
*Client’s name has been changed to protect anonymity