Home page

8 City Wall

Steve Edwards' website

An Irish landlord driven spare

John Costelloe harrassed me for two years as my landlord in Kilkenny Ireland.

Eventually myself and a housemate had to leave, in the summer of 2009. John had amplified his threats, and while it would have been illegal for him so do what he said he wanted to do, that didn't mean he wouldn't do it. It was illegal, in fact, for him to even threaten eviction at all, on improper grounds.

Well, he got his proper grounds in the end, because we stopped paying rent. We stopped paying electricity, too — and when the bastard switched it into my name I made arrangements to pay to keep the lights on; but we stuck him for the €320 that ESB took before that.

And that's the part that's driving him cracked now. Well, he's moaning about the rent money, too — but that was really just our deposits back, in the old-fashioned way.

And he ain't gonna get none of it.

He threatened me, by email, September 2009, that he's going to contact my parents.

John took over the duties of landlord in spring of 2007, when his mother couldn't do it any more, and I met him then. She'd been nasty to me and I had sent her a letter castigating her for disrespecting my rights.

Then shows John. He was ready to have a problem.

And a problem he had.

The first time John threatened me with eviction was in the summer of 2007, when I decided not to re-sign the lease. I didn't have to — but every time he churned out another one of his bullshit (illegal) eviction notices, he'd include something about how I'd "consistently refused to re-sign the lease. ..."

That had been my conscious decision, and it was legal. In fact, the advice that I'd received at the Citizens' Information Bureau was "don't re-sign the lease." If you've lived in a place for a year or more, you don't have to. There would have been no benefit.

Anyway, I didn't re-sign the damn thing, and I told him why. I think that's when, how, and why I stopped trying to communicate with him. He didn't grasp anything, didn't retain anything, and reverted to a neanderthal* "money good you bad" attitude every time there was a problem.

And there were a few. But the only one that wasn't bullshit was when a housemate left in the middle of December, 2008. This was during an economic crisis (q.v.) and I just could not find anybody else to move in. In fact, I never did. After a while, I stopped trying — but that's another story.

Anyhow, that's when it became important that I'd not signed a lease. The lease that I'd had was one in which I had agreed to keep three rooms occupied — or, more to the point, pay that amount of money.

That was okay when the economy was good. I took a little off the top, and in exchange took a risk and incurred small expenses. As I said: good when economy good.

John was either unable or unwilling to comprehend that I was legally declining to re-sign a lease. He was too busy trying to bullshit me, telling me that it was in my interest, and then getting angry with me. He'd cajole, and then threaten. It was pathetic.

So here it was, December 2008, and I haven't found anybody to move into the empty room. I'm not going to pay for it, and nobody else is either. After a bit of hassle and an eventual agreement, we two remaining tenants were just paying our due 2/3 of the household rent. Eventually, I put the other housemate in contact with John and removed myself from any management duty.

But John was going crazy to win this one.

He was going cracked -- "Spare," as they say in Irish English.

John could never accept/understand that because I had refused to sign a lease, I was not obligated to keep the house fully-occupied, and that in fact it was a favor to his family's bank account that I even tried at all.

But that changed, too. I quit trying.

And I quit trying to communicate with him.

__ ___ __

* I should not imply that the Neanderthals were unintelligent.

Their extinction is not proof that they were lesser than us ; and it's not fair to assume that they were more ignorant than my landlord at 8 City Wall in Kilkenny Ireland.