A YOUNG married couple, who have been spending almost €1,400 a month on rent and a mortgage for more than four years, remain "locked out" of a fully completed four-bedroom house in a ghost estate.
Michelle Burke and William Buck (both 33), are renting a house in Ballina, Killaloe, Co Clare, despite buying a house at Ard na Deirge, Killaloe, on September 7, 2006. They paid a booking deposit in 2006 and were ready to draw down the remainder of the mortgage and move in in December 2009 when a receiver from KPMG was appointed by AIB after the original developer ran into financial difficulties.
This meant that services were not connected to the house and they were unable to move in.
They had already drawn down €155,000 of their mortgage (half the €310,000 full amount) and are paying €740 per month for that as well as €650 in rent.
The bank will not release the remainder of the funds until the house is 'completed' by having services connected.
The couple said the new developer's representative, Brian Whelan, stated services may not be completed in the near future as the developer may re-apply for another extension of the planning permission.
"We are paying a mortgage and rent, yet we can't get into our house. We need the services connected as quickly as possible," Ms Burke said.
The couple claim they have been let down by the original developer, Clare County Council, AIB and the receiver.
The estate containing 27 dwellings – excluding three completed ones – was put up for sale by private treaty last October. Confirming the estate is at the sale-agreed stage, John Phelan of Harry Brann, Auctioneers, Killaloe, couldn't comment on the buyer or the sale price.
Clare County Council said it had been assigning significant resources to try to deal with a range of legacy issues that exist on these estates.
Mr Whelan has declined to comment on any of the couple's claims – and both a spokeswoman for AIB and KPMG receiver Padraic Monaghan declined to comment.