Thursday 22 March 2018

Cork tenants told to quit apartment complex over sale

The Eden apartment and townhouse complex in Blackrock, Cork. Photo: Provision
The Eden apartment and townhouse complex in Blackrock, Cork. Photo: Provision
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Residents of an apartment complex in Cork have been told by a receiver to vacate their rented properties by Friday.

But the local council was prevented in 2010 from purchasing the same complex for use as social and affordable housing.

Cork City Council was refused permission by the then-Government to purchase the Eden complex in Blackrock at a knock-down price after Ireland's property market crash. It was instead told to use portions of it on long-term lease agreement.

The revelation came as 35 tenants at Eden have now been told by a receiver to vacate their rented properties.

The majority are single professionals working in technology and service firms in the Blackrock and Mahon areas.

It is understood about 10 families are involved in total.

Lord Mayor of Cork Councillor Chris O'Leary expressed "grave concern" at the move and warned that it is clear proof the crisis over the Tyrellstown properties in Dublin is now being mirrored across other Irish cities and towns.

"What makes this so tragic is that it could easily have been avoided," he said. "Cork City Council wanted to purchase this complex in 2010 because it was available at an exceptionally good price. It would have gone a long way towards addressing the issues of social and affordable housing."

The receiver for some Eden properties, Grant Thornton, indicated to residents the landlord intends to sell-off apartments.

Several residents, including Brazilian father-of-two Celso Lomas, were served with 'notice to quit' letters on January 21.

Residents were paying an average of €1,250 per month for two-bedroom apartments.

Mr Lomas said both single residents and families face a headache to find comparable accommodation locally.

"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 told RTÉ.

"It was just a letter saying 'please leave by March 18'. Everything seemed to be going as normal before that. I had received a letter about a rise in the rent in mid-2015 - it went up by 25pc."

Up to 40 properties will now be disposed of - but a further 87 may also be offered for sale.

A letter from Grant Thornton, seen by the Irish Independent, confirmed to one resident that, under Section 34 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004, the landlord now intends to dispose of the properties.

A spokesperson for Grant Thornton was unavailable for comment.

Eden was developed on the former Ursuline Convent site.

Irish Independent

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