Living Hell Awards 2022

Words: Eva O’Beirne, Ellen Kenny

2022 has been quite the year for housing. As homelessness rates continue to rise, people are advocating for increased social housing and better protection for tenants. We also have had people who continue to be the absolute worst. Landlords, property developers and Airbnb owners alike have been working tirelessly to provide Ireland with some of the biggest housing blunders we’ve ever seen, and it would be a shame if their hard work went unrecognised.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on some of the best scams, kips and overall human rights violations we’ve had the pleasure of seeing in the past year with Living Hell. We’ve put together some of the most cursed dwellings in the country to honour them in our annual Living Hell Awards, and honestly, we were spoiled for choice.

Best Couple

The €50 couch and the €30 tent on Airbnb

In September, a follower kindly pointed Living Hell in the direction of an Airbnb host renting a tent in his garden for 30 euro a night. The place was shamefully advertised as a four-person tent with a “living room” i.e. a tent with a single double mattress and two tiny chairs a child would struggle to fit on. That’s summer in Dublin for you.

We thought things couldn’t get worse, until a few days later another listing of a couch for 50 euros a night came to our attention. It offered the thrill of a holiday in Dublin, without the hassle of having an actual, comfortable space of your own. This wasn’t even a pullout couch and it later became clear, this host was the same host of the infamous tent. Because if you’re not exploiting the housing crisis to rent out every sleepable surface in your home, what are you even doing?

This iconic cursed couple is sadly no longer available to rent, but we can always remember the good times we had.

Most Ambitious Landlord

“Athlone, Dublin 8”

Never let it be said that people will not aim for the stars on Ireland is a liberal economy, full of risk takers and dreammakers. Where else can you aspire to move a town in Westmeath to the actual Liberties?

Over the summer, Living Hell found a room share available located in “Athlone, Dublin 8”. The owner of the room explained that the room “is NOT in Dublin but easily commutable from Dublin. Walking distance (200m) from Athlone train station. Train takes 1.5 hrs from Athlone to Dublin Heuston.” Of course, let’s not forget trains run out of Athlone only every two to three hours, and then when you actually get to Dublin you’re still at Heuston. Doesn’t seem to be worth 700 euro a month, but we love to see the ambition.

Kindest Host

“Refugees only” at €800 a night

In times of global crisis, it’s so important to be kind to your fellow human beings. To offer them support and warmth when they are at their lowest points, to give them faith in humanity once again. That must be why this Airbnb host planned on charging refugees 800 euro a night to sleep in a bed. 

At the time we found this listing, the government was offering 400 euro a month to anyone who could host refugees coming from the war in Ukraine. However, if living in Dublin has taught us anything, it’s that landlords will exploit any tragedy they can for their own gain. According to the ad, the hosts don’t even provide food to the refugees, that’s all on them. What a way to welcome someone to Ireland.

Most Luxurious Landlord

The InterContinental Hotel

You hate landlords. You hate hotels. Well, now it is time to meet the final boss. The landlord that is also a hotel. The InterContinental Hotel in Ballsbridge, formerly known as the Four Seasons Dublin, previously advertised a hotel room for rent on for 5,000 euros a month. Of course, this is a literal five-star hotel we’re talking about. But have we really reached the point of renting one-bedroom flats for 5,000 euros?

The advertisement boasts that only residents of the “apartment” will have access to it. Thank you, InterContinental Dublin, for achieving the literal bare minimum of tenancy requirements. The ad also lists the room as one bedroom, but two bathrooms. This looks a little off for a moment, until you realise that one of the toilets they’re including is “a separate WC off the generously sized entrance lobby.”

So you’re paying 5,000 a month for a public toilet that countless other people have used and likely done nefarious deeds in. If that’s not luxury Dublin, I don’t know what is.

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Tastiest Host

The Apache Hostel

After a long night in the club, there’s nothing better than finding a greasy pizza or some taco chips to end the evening. But imagine literally ending your evening with some pizza. That’s what the tastiest hosts in Dublin can provide at the Apache Hostel on Dame Street. 

Over the summer, it became apparent that it’s more expensive to buy a large pizza with toppings on the Apache menu than to stay at The Apache Hostel. Not every pizza costs more than a bed, but the mere fact that the Apache Hostel even exists feels like a crime against humanity. And that price comparison  is a true breach of crust in our country’s future. 

Best Microdose of the Apocalypse

Classrooms in Wexford

Ever had a Leaving Cert nightmare? Want to experience it everyday in your own living hell? Then, wow, do we have the property for you. 

Priced at 275 euro per month, each “apartment” consisted of multiple classrooms and the interiors were nothing short than a horror film. The advertisement listed that it included central heating, a washing machine and a microwave. Oh the luxury.

After plenty of backlash on Twitter, with some eagle-eyed users pointing out that the landlord likely didn’t have planning permission for the “apartments”, the advertisement was taken down from after barely a day. 

Most Creative Decór

€900 per month studio

For just 900 euro of your hard earned cash you can live in a “studio” that looks like a cobbling together of all the unsellable content on Facebook Marketplace.

With a suspicious shower-curtain-bedroom-nook situation, this listing is dotted with unusual gems that any first-time home owner will hate to have. 

Featuring a sink that’s far too small to wash anything in and far too industrial to feel comfortable drinking out of, a bar stool that definitely came from The Living Room off O’Connell Street and a countertop too small to fit a microwave, this listing is the creme de la creme of horrific Daft listings. Don’t forget the sliver of a door that looks painted on!

Smallest House, Biggest Rip Off

Nearly €600,000 for a glorified extension

Described as “generously proportioned”, this two bedroom, one bathroom “bungalow” was on sale for €575,000. 

A whopping total of 73 square metres, the “house” was listed at the end of a row of three (real) terraced houses in Glasnevin.

If you’ve ever dreamed of living in an Animal Crossing-like dwelling, this house is for you. If you’ve ever dreamed of selling your shed for over half a million euro, this property is also for you. 

We can’t wait to see what monstrosities next year brings.