Wednesday 7 December 2016

Reprieve for families as landlord admits evictions 'invalid'

Alan O'Keeffe

Published 26/04/2016 | 02:30

Families said last night they feel they have won a considerable amount of extra time to fight to remain in their homes following developments yesterday
Families said last night they feel they have won a considerable amount of extra time to fight to remain in their homes following developments yesterday

Families facing the loss of their rented homes have told of their relief after their landlord conceded termination notices were invalid.

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Fourteen families in Tyrrelstown in Dublin who received notices by post from management company Twinlite had contacted the Private Residential Tenancies Board to challenge the validity of the notices.

The letters gave the families dates by which they must move out of their homes because the ownership company intended to sell the properties.

Families said last night they feel they have won a considerable amount of extra time to fight to remain in their homes following developments yesterday.

Local mother Funke Tobun, who along with her husband Ademola, was the first tenant to challenge a termination notice.

She spoke of her delight after the board hearing that a lawyer for Twinlite accepted that the notices of termination were invalid.

This was on foot of a ruling by High Court Judge Marie Baker earlier this month that the mere intention of a landlord to sell was not sufficient grounds to issue a notice of termination.

"It is a relief. It has been a constant worry since I received the letter. But this means their attempt to end our tenancy has been set back," she said.

Challenge

"I think it will give a lot of confidence to other tenants in this situation to challenge the termination letters."

"At least when I go to bed tonight I can close my eyes," Ms Tobun added.

"I have not been able to sleep with the worry as there are no other homes available in this area."

Gillian Murphy and Damien Moore (25), parents of three young children, welcomed the news because they had also received one of the termination letters.

"It gives us hope for the future," said Gillian.

Anti Austerity Alliance councillor Matt Waine said the landlord would now have to start the process all over again.

"I think it will also add to the determination of tenants to resist any attempt to end their tenancies," Mr Waine added.

"While it is an important development, it is not a solution. Minister Alan Kelly and the Department of the Environment must step up their attempts to acquire the properties and put in place an affordable mortgage scheme to allow the majority of tenants to buy their homes.

Mr Waine said the situation in Tyrrelstown "demonstrates the continuing housing crisis and the need for the State to declare a housing and homeless emergency and to undertake a massive State house building programme to resolve the crisis".

Irish Independent

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