A couple who hadn’t paid rent to Westmeath County Council in almost two years and owed over €6,000 to the authority, avoided eviction on a technicality in the District Court this week (June 16 ).
The county council was in court to gain possession of a house in Moate for which tenants Richard and Siobhan Evans had not paid weekly rent of €69 since October 11, 2008, and from whom staff officer Pat Byrne “had received no contact”.
A lawyer for the council submitted the original tenancy agreement and a copy of the notice to quit to the court; however, Judge David Anderson noticed a difference of addresses on the two documents and sought some clarification from the council on this.
Mr Byrne explained that due to a change in the couple’s housing needs recently, they had been rehoused at a second council-owned property in the town.
The housing department had not re-drawn the tenancy agreement to reflect this change and the judge acted on this.
“I’m relying on the document that’s signed. Refused,” said the judge, turning down the order for possession.