Housing crisis | 

Tenants in up to 20 apartments in Dublin city-centre property facing eviction

Neil Thompson, who is a tenant in the Rathmines property, fears he will become homeless again when he is evicted. Photo: Mark Condren

Amy BlaneyIndependent.ie

Tenants in up to 20 apartments in a Dublin city centre property have been served with eviction notices as the landlord intends to sell the building.

The residents living in the adjoining buildings of 94 and 96 Lower Rathmines Road were served with eviction notices in August to vacate the property next February.

However, due to the winter eviction ban introduced this month the residents are now protected until May.

Neil Thompson (33) has lived in a one-bedroom apartment in the property for the past two years and said he is “worried” that he will end up homeless again when he is evicted.

He was homeless and living between hostels for 10 months before he moved into the property, and described conditions in the hostels as “rough”.

“I had never been homeless before this, that was my first time being in that situation,” Mr Thompson said.

Even though he has until May, he feels there is “zero chance” of being able to find an affordable property to rent.

“I started looking immediately when I received the letter because I know how long it could take for me to find a place,” he said.

“I’m 100pc worried that I won’t find anything.

“From August up until now I’ve sent about 500 to 600 emails to different landlords and estate agents all around Dublin and even outside of Dublin.

“In all that time I only got one viewing for a home in Terenure.

“There is extremely little available and within my own budget there is next to none in Dublin,” he said.

The buildings are owned by Hazelwood Walk Holdings Ltd.

A spokesperson for the landlord said: “We can confirm that the properties at 94 and 96 Lower Rathmines will be offered for sale following the completion of some essential repairs. Accordingly, some limited number of tenants at this address have, for some months now, been in receipt of the appropriate tenancy termination notice.

“We are satisfied that all notices issued are legally valid and that correct procedure has been observed in all cases.

“I might also add that we have offered our assistance to the affected tenants whom have reached out directly to us in sourcing alternative accommodation.”

The residents are hoping that when the building is sold they will be given the opportunity to move back into the apartments, while the landlord has offered the tenants the opportunity to re-occupy the apartments if a sale has not been agreed in nine months.

Under a recent law, known as the Tyrrelstown Agreement, a landlord cannot terminate 10 or more tenancies or units within a single development over six months with the intention to sell the property.

In the eviction notice, seen by theIrish Independent, tenants were told that the law does not apply in this case due to the exemption that it would cause the landlord “undue hardship”.

It also states in the exemption that the sale of the building with the tenants in situ would be more than 20pc below the market value that could be obtained if the building was vacant.

A spokesperson for the Depart-ment of Housing said during the period of the winter eviction ban, which will last until next April 1, “if you are renting private rented accommodation you cannot be evicted during these months, even if you have been issued with a valid notice of termination”.

“The eviction ban applies if you have a termination date that falls during the winter emergency period.

“It includes notice of terminations issued before October 30, 2022,” they added.

Evictions remain the largest issue facing private renters, according to a new report from Threshold, published yesterday, which revealed how the charity prevented 1,000 people from becoming homeless between July and September this year.

The figures show that 1,384 private renters sought the charity’s help when they received a notice of termination, with 60pc of notices issued because the landlord intended to sell the property.

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