herald

Sunday 21 April 2019

Homelessness fear for families living near Leo after they get eviction notices

Residents of the Riverwood Hall apartments in Castleknock were ‘shocked’ to learn their landlord intended to sell up
Residents of the Riverwood Hall apartments in Castleknock were ‘shocked’ to learn their landlord intended to sell up

Young families living in an apartment block close to the home of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar have been issued with eviction notices just weeks after Christmas.

Residents of nine west Dublin apartments in Riverwood Hall, Castleknock, received letters last week notifying them of the landlord's intention to sell.

The "shocked" citizens fear they could become homeless due to the lack of affordable accommodation in the capital.

They had been paying €1,100 in rent a month for a two-bed apartment and are now facing a likely substantial hike to find similar accommodation.

Renting

Tenants were given the option of buying the properties for €250,000 each, but only have a week to inform the landlord if they are making an offer.

Emma Byrne and her partner Alan Kiely have been renting in Riverwood for three years and described the timing as "ridiculous".

"We've been looking around [for somewhere new] since we found out and the cheapest quote we're getting is €1,700 and €1,800, which is a big jump," Ms Byrne said.

"If we had have known this was coming around the corner after Christmas we wouldn't have spent so much and now we're looking at an increase in rent and the stress of finding somewhere else."

Another resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "Riverwood feels like home to us and we had already started saving to buy around here."

Tenants were given between nine and 12 weeks to clear out.

Fianna Fail TD for Dublin West Jack Chambers said it was "concerning" for all living in Riverwood Hall.

"One of the properties is vacant, which brings the number to nine even though 10 appear to be in the process of a future sale. It sets a worrying precedent for many families living in blocks of apartments owned by a single owner," he said.

Tenants received a letter from Hooke & MacDonald estate agents, on behalf of the appointed receiver from Grant Thornton, the administrator of the estate of developer Liam Maye, who died in 2008.

A spokesperson for Grant Thornton said the notices are compliant with the Tyrrelstown legislation as only nine apartments have been issued termination notices and "Tyrrelstown legislation is applicable to 10 properties and above".

"The tenants have been given an additional 28 days' notice above statutory obligations to allow for alternative accommodation to be sought," the spokesperson added.

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said: "None of Taoiseach's constituents have been in touch with him or his constituency office as of yet. He will look in to the matter and respond to any requests for assistance made in the normal way."

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