Housing charity marks one year since opening of Limerick outreach service
Limerick renters urged to lean on Threshold for advice and support in difficult times
National housing charity Threshold has revealed that it has carried out 4,357 actions in relation to 669 cases since it opened its Limerick outreach service just a year ago (11th June).
The charity today urged renters in Limerick to contact its housing advisors for advice and support. The most common issues raised by tenants in Limerick over the last year include tenancy terminations (22%), advice on leases (12%) and rent reviews (11%). 6% of all cases in Limerick during the period related to rent arrears.
Between 1st March and 21st May of this year, cases from Limerick accounted for 4.5% of all of Threshold’s arrears-related cases nationwide. 8% of all 669 cases dealt with in Limerick related to clients who have suffered a loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Southern Regional Services Manager at Threshold, Edel Conlon said: “A year has passed since we opened our doors to renters across Limerick City and county to provide vital, on-the-ground support services to people living in the private rented sector here. Of course we could never have predicted the changes in the world we are living in now, but in these challenging and uncertain times, we are doing all we can at Threshold to continue assisting people, not just in Limerick but across the country.
“Despite the fact that we are unable to interact face-to-face with our clients in Limerick at the moment, we remain acutely aware of the issues that families and individuals are facing and the complex nature of these problems, and we are still assisting tenants on a remote basis for now.”
Some of the challenges faced by renters in Limerick are illustrated by the case of one of Threshold’s clients, Robert*. In October 2019, Robert signed a 12-month, fixed-term lease on a property for himself, his partner and their 18-month old child. A month later, Robert’s landlady sent him a text message saying that she would need the property back by February 2020. Robert contacted Threshold who advised him that this was invalid: a Notice of Termination must be in writing and, moreover, Robert had a fixed-term lease with no break clause.
Ideally Threshold would have communicated this message to the landlady in writing; however, the landlady had refused to provide Robert with her address, a breach of her obligations. Threshold therefore called Robert’s landlady on his behalf; she stated that she needed the house back and that she had the right to terminate within the first six months of a tenancy without a reason. Threshold outlined its position, stating that the fixed-term lease offers the tenant protection against early termination. The landlady then provided Robert with a Notice of Termination in writing, again invalid, due to the fixed-term lease. Threshold intervened again and ultimately ensured that this young family could remain in their home.
Ms Conlon concluded: “Without Threshold’s intervention, families like Robert’s face a very real risk of being made homeless, in Limerick and across Ireland; and without the generous support of members of the public and the business community, our vital work in preventing homelessness would not be possible. We would urge people to help us continue our work and donate what they can via our website, www.threshold.ie.
We would also like to sincerely thank Citizens Information for providing us with the space to deliver our outreach clinic in Limerick.”
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