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Sunday 11 December 2016

Eviction crisis set to deepen as 120 further Cork tenants will be ordered to quit apartments and homes

Published 18/03/2016 | 17:38

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IRELAND’S eviction crisis is set to deepen with the revelation 120 further Cork tenants will be ordered to quit apartments and homes that are now being sold-off.

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But 15 tenants at the Eden complex in Blackrock, Cork are now being allowed additional time to find alternative accommodation.

A total of 35 Eden tenants were initially told by a receiver to vacate their rented properties by the deadline of today.

Twenty tenants quit the luxury apartment complex between January and March.

The remaining 15 are now being allowed additional time to find alternative accommodation.

Ten are understood to be in the process of moving within days.

“I don’t really want to say anything while the negotiations are going on,” one remaining tenant said.

The majority of tenants are single professionals, many from overseas, who are working in technology and service firms in the Blackrock and Mahon areas.

A spokesman for the receiver, Grant Thornton, confirmed they have been working closely with the tenants who require deadline extensions.

“The tenants in 20 units have vacated and we will continue to work with the tenants in the remaining units over the coming months,” a spokesperson said.

“The notice period provided to all tenants reflects the maximum period in which tenants must be notified under the Residential Tenancies Act that was enacted in December 2015.”

“The receiver’s office has facilitated extensions for tenants who have required assistance and has also facilitated tenants seeking to vacate early in circumstances where they have found alternative accommodation.”

“In such circumstances tenants are only charged rents pro rata.”

The notices to quit were issued after rents at the Eden complex went up by 25pc last year.

Grant Thornton also pointed out that any tenants who have shown interest in purchasing their properties at Eden have been directed to Lisney, the estate agents appointed for the sale of the 35-40 units being brought to market this year.

The plan for the remaining 87 Eden units controlled by Grant Thornton will be reviewed later this year.

However, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Chris O’Leary, warned that Eden is only “the tip of the iceberg” in relation to the local eviction crisis.

“There are question marks over 80-something other properties in Eden,” he said.

“But I also know there are between 100 and 120 tenants in various other developments around Cork that are facing eviction over the coming months.”

He said it was clear that the Tyrellstown crisis in Dublin which has dominated national headlines will now be replicated across all other Irish cities and towns as property prices continue to spiral.

Two Cork politicians, Mick Barry TD and Donnchadh O’Laoghaire TD, urged residents facing eviction not to quit their homes.

“Tenants who are facing these kinds of evictions should stand their ground and realise that the entire country will support them,” Mr Barry said.

Brazilian father-of-two Celso Lomas, quit the Eden complex last month having received notice to leave.

“I was told I had to leave. I got a letter in mid January. We were given eight weeks to leave. There wasn’t much negotiation,” he said.

Mr Lomas, who is now living on Connaught Avenue, said it was very difficult to find comparable accommodation within the same price bracket.

The Eden complex was developed on the site of the former Ursuline Convent in Blackrock.

The 22 acre site was originally purchased for €13m in 2001 but was later sold to Pierce Construction for €30m and was the focus of plans to develop 550 high-end housing units.

A receiver was appointed to portions of the complex in 2010 on behalf of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

The receiver said the unit sales will be used to fund further development of new residential housing on the Eden site. The undeveloped site has capacity to facilitate more than 100 new dwellings.

A spokesperson said no further tenancy notices will be issued in 2016.

It is understood 127 units at various parts of the Eden complex will come onto the market over the next nine months.

The recovery of the property market in Cork has been particularly evident in Blackrock where privately owned parts of the Eden complex have been snapped up since 2013.

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