Renting as an older person causes tenants “quite a degree of stress” and “wreaks havoc” with their health.
That’s according to one Lunchtime Live listener, Carly, who was getting in touch after research released from Alone and Threshold revealed that one-quarter of older renters expect they will remain tenants for the rest of their lives.
“I moved in in 2014, in fact, I was renting quite happily,” she said.
“I wasn't looking for a place to rent but my current landlord sought me out because he wanted somebody reliable and invited me to move into his property, which I did.”
‘Without any advanced warning’
Carly said she decided to start a pony sanctuary on the property, which was encouraged by her landlord.
“I was rescuing these little abandoned ponies and it all went very well,” she said.
“He was pretty friendly and then all of a sudden in 2019, without any advanced warning, he just told me that he was going to give me notice.
“I spent the next three years fighting him with the help of Threshold.”
Carly went to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) in December of last year, and the RTB said that her landlord’s notice was invalid.
“I'm still here, but I've had a reprieve, I'm still stressed because I haven't heard anything from the landlord since December,” she said.
“I don't know what his further intentions are.”
‘A death sentence’
Carly said it would not just be her who would end up homeless if she was to be evicted.
“It will be impossible for me because it's not just me – there are 12 little rescue ponies here,” she said.
“I would never be able to find a place to rent, there just aren't places available.”
Carly said this would effectively be a "death sentence for those ponies, they would be put to sleep because there would be nowhere for them to go.
“I've been in Ireland for 23 years now and I've been renting ever since I arrived, I will be renting until I die.”
‘Forced to move’
63-year-old Rory from Dublin said he was “forced to move outside [Dublin], down to the back end of Mullingar.”
"It's because firstly availability... also the fact that it was just about affordability," he said.
“The people in government, I have no allegiance to any political party whatsoever, so I have no axe to grind here – the only thing that I would be pushed to say is that they don't care.
“The housing crisis … it's way beyond a crisis – it's an outrage.”
Rory said he feels the Government think people over-60 don't matter.
“The evidence would point to this,” he said.
“We've ceased to be powerful earners anymore, we've ceased to be people whose opinion could affect the political landscape.
“Basically, the reality for people over-60 is, I have to maintain this level of output.
“I have to continue to work, I have to continue to earn because prices are just going up and up and up.
“I think the onus is on people in my age bracket, just to cop the hell on and go: ‘I have to be looking after me, I have to protect me because I can't see anybody else doing it.’”