Distraught families not told their homes were up for sale

NewsBy Alan Sherry
Sandra Howe and some of her neighbours
Sandra Howe and some of her neighbours
Residents fear they'll be turfed onto the street
Residents fear they'll be turfed onto the street

A GROUP OF families fear they may soon be on the street after their homes were advertised on a property website without anyone telling them.

The residents who rent the properties say auctioneers have arrived for viewings unannounced and prospective buyers have asked when they are moving out.

The 26 residents live in eight houses at Limekiln Grove in Walkinstown, Co. Dublin, which were owned and rented out by a firm that went into receivership.

The houses have since been managed by Hunters Estate Agent on behalf of the receivers. However, over recent weeks, an auctioneer with HWP has been bringing people unannounced to view the homes.

One resident said she was asked when she was moving out by a prospective buyer even though no-one has given her notice to leave.

The residents had been under the impression that Hunters had sold the properties on behalf of the receivers and HWP were not in control, but Hunters have told them this is not the case and no contract has been signed.

Residents claim they were initially told they would not have to move out when the receiver sold the houses, but last week they found their houses were being advertised for sale on property website Daft by HWP.

They say they are angry that no-one is telling them what is happening, as they do not know if the houses have been sold or who HWP are representing.

Resident Sandra Howe said: “We’re all worried what will happen to us. There are 15 children and 11 adults here. We wouldn’t mind if somebody sat down with residents and said what was happening.

“Instead, we have an auctioneer turning up unannounced asking can he show people around the houses. We were having dinner one day and people walked in our front door.

“The receiver still owns them, but the auctioneer is showing up to bring people around. We were told there was sale agreed on two of the houses, but residents haven’t even been given notice to leave.”

The residents said they fear they won’t get suitable housing  if they are given notice to leave.

Sandra said: “We’ve been looking at places in Kildare, Longford and Wexford to find somewhere affordable, but none of us want to move.”

Francine Tracey said a woman turned up at her house and gave her the impression she already owned it.

“She was asking when I was leaving. I haven’t even been given any notice to leave,” she said. 

“I don’t open the door to anyone anymore unless they call me beforehand and say they’re coming over. We don’t know what to do. We wake up every morning and think we’re going to be out on the streets.

“We can’t make plans. I was supposed to be going away for a week, but can’t now because of all this. It’s scary.”

Sandra added: “The stress on the kids is enormous. None of us have been sleeping properly.”

The residents say they accept if the houses are sold that they will have to move out, but they say they just want clarity as to what is happening and no longer want people turning up unannounced to view their homes.

The open viewings were advertised on Daft, but the residents said they did not give their consent to open viewings.

The advertisements were deleted from the website during the week after residents complained.

The Sunday World asked Karl Hannigan of HWP if he could clarify the situation, but he declined.

“Unfortunately I can’t comment. I have no comment I’m afraid. God Bless you. Goodbye,” he said.

Selina Brehany, of Hunters Estate Agent, who has been managing the properties on behalf the receivers, said she was not authorised to comment on the case.