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To the landlady of 8 City Wall, Kilkenny Ireland


This is a copy of the letter that I sent to my landlady after I'd returned from a month's vacation in America to find that she'd entered my room without permission. Strange things happened at that time, things that I could not explain, and I became upset.

Soon after I posted this note to her, Eileen relinquished management of this apartment to her son. He hated me, and when the macro-economy turned bad so did he.

I have been a tenant at 8 City Wall continuously since January of 2005. The holiday that I spent in the United States does not constitute nor even resemble a break in that continuity — as you well know, because you entered my bedroom during that time, without my permission, and saw my possessions in place.

I retain the statutory rights of a tenant who has been renting property for more than two years — rights which are considerable.

While I suspect that you are as aware as I am of statutory protections, I feel it's my responsibility to ensure that you observe these rights. This is my only intention, with all respect for your rights as a landlord, and for the fact that we've gotten on well up to this point.

One right that any tenant has — regardless of the length of tenancy — is that of proper notification by a landlord before entry to a rented property. A notice of at least 24 hours is our legal due — and, in fairness, a matter of decency and respect. This is not to disparage the pleasure of your company; I just feel that this is an important matter of business — a business that involves my personal living quarters.

Once on the premises, I hope you will never enter any tenant's personal space without permission from the individual. That's just decent, and there should never be a need for exception.

You have asked for an increase of rent, from E720 to E750 per month. While this amount is not great, and while I understand that rents do go up, I don't think that the condition of 8 City Wall is good enough to justify any such increase.

The place is not in good nick. The improvements that I suggested we organize during the month of March of this year went largely unaccomplished. The value of the property is not what it ought to be.

This is no simple esthetic matter: I need to keep two other people in here in order to pay the rent. This becomes more difficult as the property falls into disrepair due only to the normal wear upon a premises that has not been significantly improved for several years. I'd be surprised, for example, if any self-respecting woman is going to find the condition of this apartment acceptable for occupation. This factor increases the difficulty of keeping a good environment — of keeping good tenants, for which there is no substitute. My job as the de-facto property manager becomes more difficult as the condition of the property declines.

The place needs work. I don't want to pay more money for it. If proper mediation determines that a rent-increase is justified, then I will make a decision about whether or not I would like to continue my tenancy.

For now, I am willing to continue paying E720 per month. I hope you can understand the logic supporting my position on this.

I will be willing and happy to discuss matters and to negotiate in a fair and respectful manner — bearing in mind that I must expect observance of my statutory rights and those of my fellow-tenants, and that these rights will not enter negotiation.

Thank you,

Steven Edwards


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"Holiday" is Euro-English for "vacation."


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