Threshold opens Tenancy Protection service in Tralee
15 August 2019
The national housing charity Threshold will tomorrow (Friday) launch a bi-monthly tenancy protection service in Tralee, Co. Kerry to provide advice and support to those facing difficulties in the private rented sector.
Threshold housing advisors will operate the new advice service from Kerry County Council’s Homeless Information Centre, Denny Street, Tralee from 10:30am until 3:30pm on two Fridays every month.
Commenting on the new service Regina Baylor, Assistant Regional Services Manager with Threshold said: “In the last 12 months Threshold has dealt with 185 at risk of homelessness cases from Kerry alone. Data from the County Council shows that 266 households accessed emergency accommodation services in Kerry in 2018, and that the government spent an average of €6,556 per household on providing the emergency accommodation. Opening this new advice service in Tralee is therefore a response to a huge need in the region.”
This new outreach service is being delivered as part of Threshold’s Tenancy Protection Service, which was established in January 2015 and helped to protect 956 tenancies in its first year. It follows the launch of an outreach service in Limerick earlier this year.
“The need for these services clearly highlights that the housing crisis is at a critical level throughout the country and not just concentrated in our larger cities,” Ms. Baylor continued. “We estimate that over half of the notices issued to tenants of rented properties to terminate their tenancies are not being checked to determine their validity. Our presence in Tralee will enable us to determine if such notices are invalid, thus reducing the number of individuals and families being made homeless.”
In one such case seen by Threshold in 2018 a client, named Davina, was served with a Notice of Termination by her landlord for a property that she rented and was living in with her two young children. Kerry County Council’s Homeless Prevention Unit in Tralee advised Davina to contact Threshold, who reviewed the notice and concluded that it was invalid. With the client’s consent, Threshold notified the landlord of this and said that Davina and her family would be staying in the property past the termination date provided and that any attempt by the landlord to force them to leave the property would be illegal. A new Notice of Termination was subsequently served by the landlord, which was valid, but due to Threshold’s intervention Davina and her family had a further four months in the property and sufficient time to find an alternative home to rent.
In another case a Notice of Termination was served to a client named Niamh, who was living in a Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) property. Under the scheme, local authorities draw up contracts with landlords to provide housing for an agreed term for people with a long-term housing need. The reason given by the landlord for the termination was that the landlord intended to move into the property themselves; however Niamh’s RAS agreement had a fixed term tenancy for six months before it turned into a periodic month-to-month tenancy, and at the time the notice was served, Niamh had only been living in the property for four months. Threshold contacted both the landlord and the RAS department, notifying them that the notice was invalid and informing them that Niamh would be continuing with her tenancy until a valid Notice of Termination was served. The landlord subsequently withdrew the notice and Niamh’s tenancy is no longer at risk.
Threshold’s housing advisors will operate the new bi-monthly advice service from Kerry County Council’s Homeless Information Centre, Denny Street, Tralee. The service will operate from 10:30am until 3:30pm on two Fridays every month. Dates for Autumn / Winter are as follows:
- August 16th and 30th
- September 13th and 27th
- October 11th and 25th
- November 8th and 22nd
- December 6th
Appointments can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 1800 454 454.