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Dreadful conditions in rented house

Hello, I’m living in rented accommodation since October. We took the house newly painted but because of dampness it is still wet in places. Some rooms we cannot use to sleep in because of the damp and dust and my allergies and asthma have flared up badly. Can we ask to be moved to another house? Without losing our deposit. The agency doesn’t seem interested.

This question is from an anonymous listener and I edited it down for the radio programme. Above you will see the edited question and below you will see the full text of the question and after that my answer.


FULL UNEDITED TEXT OF QUESTION. Hello, im living in rented accommodation since October. When we took the house newly painted but dampness It is an old enough house and is quite damp in areas. It was newly painted when we accepted it in fact still wet in places. We had to change which room we slept it as my allergies and asthma flared up very badly. We had to ask them to take away the second bed as it was thick with dust. Now it the other room, the chest of drawers and other items are very damp an dusty. The apartment itself is nice but am finding it difficult with regard to my health. Would we be within our right to asked to be moved to another apartment or leave without loosing our deposit? The agency has.nt been very understanding so far. Thank you for your time {please dont say my name, just in case!} Name supplied



This is an outrage. Every tenant is entitled to habitable accommodation of a certain standard and this clearly is not. In addition to this, it appears that you have suffered what is effectively personal injury and will, in my view, be entitled to compensation on two levels – firstly for failure to provide habitable accommodation, which is a breach of contract, and, secondly, damages for the injuries you have suffered from the dust, allergies and asthma attacks as a result of the appalling conditions.


As with the previous answer, the Private Residential Tenancies Board  www.prtb.ie operate a dispute resolution service on breaches of contract such as this. It is a compulsory service for both Landlords and Tenants in dispute. Regarding the issues raised about the uninhabitable state of the accommodation, they should be contacted.


You have also suffered personal injuries and only the Injuries Board and the Courts have jurisdiction there and I believe that you are entitled to compensation, possibly very substantial compensation in this area. My advice is to contact a Solicitor as soon as possible because your Solicitor will be able to file the Claim for the uninhabitable accommodation with the PRTB and will also be able to file a Claim for personal injuries to the Injuries Board or in the Courts.


In conclusion, I see what you say about “the Agency doesn’t seem interested”. I don’t think they realise the seriousness of the situation – perhaps you re dealing with a junior clerk in the Agency but I can guarantee that a well crafted letter from your Solicitor will bring the matter to their urgent attention, particularly when, as agents, they realise that their own client (the Landlord) is going to be sued directly by you. Don’t let this disgraceful conduct go unchallenged. Act today.


The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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