Friday 18 October 2019

Council forced to clarify after letter asking people to allow contractors into homes sparks 'frenzy'

Councillor Noeleen Reilly. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Councillor Noeleen Reilly. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Dublin City Council were forced to clarify the validity of a series of letters after correspondence asking people to allow contractors into their homes sparked a 'frenzy'.

Ballymun Councillor Noeleen Reilly said that the letters, asking people to allow contractors into their homes, sparked concern after a number of people claimed they were fradulent online.

Residents shared the Dublin City Council notice on social media
Residents shared the Dublin City Council notice on social media

The letters, which had the Dublin City Council (DCC) logo at the top, asked tenants to allow contractors into their homes to examine if any upgrades needed to be carried out.

"The letters are being sent out to the 25,000 Dublin City Council tenants because they need to do surveys on the properties to ensure they are in line with EU standards," Cllr Reilly told Independent.ie.

"The letter could have been more professional. I think it was just photocopied and hand delivered.

"I raised it at the Dublin City Council meeting on Monday because a lot of residents were quite concerned about it and we were told that it is legitimate but the council will be re-issuing the letter so it looks more professional.

"It's not common practice but they have been doing it across Dublin. A lot of the properties have already been done and the contractors are looking at heating systems, boilers, insulation, all that sort of stuff.

"It is important that they gain access to the homes because if there is work needed, then people might miss out, but people need to be re-assured about who they are letting into their home, especially at this time of year because there is always an increase in burglaries."

She added; "There is a bit of a frenzy online about whether the letters are real or not and one woman said she rang DCC and they didn't confirm that the letter was real.

"I'd be surprised if staff in local offices didn't know that this was happening. It just got shared off someone's page and people became alarmed.

"People should always look for ID before they allow people into their homes and ring DCC if they have any concerns."

In a statement, Dublin City Council confirmed that the letters are genuine.

"Dublin City Council have employed Survey Contractors to assess the condition of our Housing Stock (26,000 units) over the last number of months. To date we have carried out 16,000 such surveys.

"Written notification is sent to each resident, prior to the survey being carried out. The notice (shared on social media) is one of same and is genuine.

"The work is being carried out by seven contractors. All staff employed by the contractor carry identification credentials and must present ID before entering anybody’s home."

DCC said that appointments can be made to have this survey carried out at a time that suits the residents by phoning Dublin City Council Housing Maintenance on T. 2222191.

"It is now our intention to allay any fears this may have caused by clarifying this on our social media channels and website," the DCC added.

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