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Tuesday 25 July 2017

Eviction looms for anti-social tenants, as councillor says it's time to end 'reign of terror'

Cllr Daithi Doolan welcomes action on problem tenants
Cllr Daithi Doolan welcomes action on problem tenants

There could soon be a wave of council house evictions for anti-social tenants as Dublin City Council initiates tough new legislation.

Despite 1,385 reports of anti-social behaviour to the council in 2016 - rising by a third in a year - there have only been a handful of evictions.

In 2016 there were four evictions and in 2015, another four.

In 2014 there had been two; in 2013, just three, and in 2012 two.

However, now the Housing Act 2014 has been enforced, Dublin City Council has more power to evict troublesome tenants.

"For a number of years there's been no evictions taking place from the local authority but now they've brought in the 2014 legislation, the council will be able to take people to court," said Sinn Fein councillor Daithi Doolan.

The council had been restricted from carrying out evictions after a Supreme Court decision in 2012.

Two cases brought first to the High Court, then the Supreme Court, by council tenants, saw the protection put in place.

However, Cllr Doolan believes the updated law will allow problem neighbours to be thrown out for the sake of local authority areas.

"We welcome this because there's a backlog of cases," Cllr Doolan said.

Protection

"In some areas anti-social behaviour has been left unchallenged and there's now a reign of terror.

"This needs to be tackled and there must be protection for a complainant.

"I have been assured that protection will remain in place, so when the case goes to court, the complainant won't be named," he added.

"We need support for tenants. It's a very brave thing for a person to complain against their anti-social neighbour.

"They need to be protected and it can't be left to Dublin City Council to deal with this on its own.

"No one wants to see anyone losing their home but unfortunately because of their actions, they may need to lose their home because of the anarchy they brought to areas."

It is expected that complaints made about council tenants will be investigated first and if they are deemed serious enough, action will commence to evict them from their homes.

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