Former garda stations rented at €100 a month
THREE former garda stations in Dublin are being rented out to live-in guardians in for as little as €100 a month.
Still featuring their existing cells, described as "non-functional" by the company handling security at the stations, they also have basic kitchen and bathroom facilities.
There are three conditions on the guardians – that they are in full-time employment, have no children, and no pets.
The stations at Stepaside, Dalkey and Kill O'The Grange are being let on a temporary basis so that they don't fall into disrepair.
Operations manager at Camelot Property Management, the company running the scheme, Keith Brennan told the Herald: "What we do is very simple. We provide a security solution that's an alternative to your standard static guard remaining outside a building on site.
"What we do is we install what we call live-in guardians to reside in the property for the duration it is vacant. The idea is that the service is purely temporary and so at very short notice the guardian may have to leave the property in the event that our client may ask for the property back."
The closure of garda stations around the country over the last two years caused upset to local communities who complained about a lack of a garda base in their areas.
Mr Brennan also said that the presence of guardians in the three Dublin stations does mean that there is a "deterrent against anti-social behaviour and dilapidation. "You have an active use of the property so it's good for the community," he said.
He said that the live-in guardian is highly vetted and must supply a copy of a passport, utility bill, bank statements, two character references and an employment reference before they are considered.
"There's three basic criteria – full time employed, no children, no pets and then after that you meet the vetting criteria and you also then have an interview phase", he said.
Mr Brennan added: "They pay from €100 a month and that's depending on the property, location etc. It does vary from property to property. It's typically a saving of anywhere between 40 and 60pc on what you would normally pay for a room share in a given location."
He said the benefit to the guardian is low rent, but that they know they may have to leave at short notice.