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Court Rejects Tenants’ Petition Over Secretly Filmed Video Without Landlord’s Consent

Dublin: The Workplace Relations Commission has ruled against a complaint filed by tenant Megan Kenna, who alleged discrimination and attempted eviction due to pregnancy. The commission deemed Kenna’s secretly recorded interactions with the landlord, intended as evidence, unacceptable and unsupported. Instead, the commission upheld Brendan O’Brien’s assertion that the tenant was selectively filming discussions regarding relocating from their current flat to another apartment, citing safety concerns related to a perilous 47-step spiral staircase.

The Kenna family, residing in Howth, Dublin, claimed gender discrimination as the reason behind their alleged eviction. Kenna contended that the stress from this situation led to her requiring a caesarean section. The commission, however, found in favour of the landlord, who expressed concerns about the safety of the staircase, especially with an impending baby.

While the landlord refuted Kenna’s claim that the caesarean section was a result of his actions, the commission acknowledged the health and safety considerations regarding the staircase raised by the landlord. The landlord questioned the morality of secret filming without consent and argued that alternative accommodation had been offered, albeit at a higher rent and with cleanliness concerns, according to Kenna.

Adjudicator Andrew Heavey criticised the clandestine recording, emphasising the landlord’s potential entrapment. He noted that the video clip’s conversation, in the landlord’s absence, provided strong evidence. Despite the landlord’s documented offers of alternative housing, the commission was convinced that the intent was not eviction but a genuine concern for safety. Consequently, the commission rejected Kenna’s discrimination complaint.

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