A ruthless landlord

By Audrey SomnardLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

Luxembourg multi-property owner Marc Godart is in dispute with several of his former tenants in Dublin, to whom he owes several thousand euros. Two of them spoke to the Lëtzebuerger Journal about their experience.

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Some stories just don't go away. The Irish media continue to follow the actions of Marc Godart, a Luxembourger who is being sued by several of his tenants for illegal evictions in Dublin. We previously spoke to Olivia Kelly, editor of The Irish Times, about the Godart saga. Following the publication of that interview, some of Mr Godart's victims contacted us to share their experiences and provide evidence. We were given access to documents from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), which in Ireland rules on disputes between landlords and tenants in order to relieve congestion in the courts. Marc Godart is well known to the RTB, as he is being sued by several of his former tenants.

Lizet Pena-Herrera rented a room in central Dublin. The accommodation has four bedrooms and is designed for 4 occupants. But soon after Lizet moved in, new arrivals began to pile in, as she told us over the phone: "Overnight I saw two bunk beds installed in the main bedroom, which had a window that didn't open properly. The living room was also turned into a bedroom. I was working a lot at the time, so I wasn't there from early morning until late at night, but I regularly bumped into new people. At first I wasn't worried, I thought they were just friends of the other tenants, but I ended up asking questions. I realised that there were a lot more of us than I'd expected, up to 8 people at one point."

The law is on her side

Lizet then appealed to Dublin City Council, which came to inspect the property and found that it was overcrowded, contrary to the rules in force. The case was referred to the RTB, where Lizet was told that all the current litigation protected tenants awaiting a decision from eviction. But this was without taking into account the methods of his landlord, Marc Godart: "One of his 'employees' lived in the flat. She knew about the inspection and quickly concluded that it came from me. She shouted at me and threatened me verbally, I was very scared. A few days later I received a letter of termination."

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