Saturday 18 November 2017

'We haven't spoken in a decade' - businesswoman Marissa Carter distances herself from brother who crammed 70 into 'unauthorised hostel'

Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown.
Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown.
The house where up to 70 tenants were living Inset: Christian Carter Newsdesk Newsdesk

Award-winning businesswoman Marissa Carter has condemned the actions of her younger brother after it emerged he had been overcrowding a house in Dublin with up to 70 people. previously exposed through an undercover investigation how landlord Christian Carter (29) was pocketing thousands in rent each month from foreign nationals living in "dangerous" conditions in The Pines, Lehaunstown, Cabinteely.

Marissa (33), who runs the successful Cocoa Brown tanning range, has distanced herself from her brother's actions, claiming they "never saw eye to eye".

Mr Carter is due to appear in the Circuit Civil Court on Monday morning after he was ordered to find the remaining tenants alternative accommodation by 5pm on Saturday.

The Pines, Lehaunstown, Cabinteely which had up to 70 people living there at one time Photo: Tony Gavin
The Pines, Lehaunstown, Cabinteely which had up to 70 people living there at one time Photo: Tony Gavin

Last week, the court heard how tenants had been living in "dangerous and unhealthy conditions," with Judge Jacqueline Linnane describing the house as an "unauthorised hostel."

Mr Carter had been subletting the property from the owner and charged the tenants €200 per month to live in cramped conditions.

"Christian and I, sadly, haven't spoken in close to a decade," the tanning entrepreneur told the Irish Mail on Sunday.

"The first that I knew of the housing business was when I read it on a news website, and I feel awful for the tenants that are there. I just hope the situation gets resolved and that the tenants are looked after.

"He [Christian] was 19 or 20 when I last spoke to him. I have five brothers but unfortunately Christian and I never saw eye to eye and when I moved out of home we just drifted apart. I'm sad to say that we don't really know each other any more."

Ms Carter, who was awarded Image Business Woman of the Year 2016, further added: "I can only be responsible for my own actions and you can't live someone else's life for them." broke the story in January this year and following an inspection by Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, the tenants were ordered to vacate the property.

"They would be safer sleeping on couches somewhere, than in that house," Judge Linnane remarked in court on Thursday.

The house was deemed to be a fire safety hazard and had significant sewage problems.

Jayne Dobson, an engineer with the council, carried out an inspection and said the septic tank was inadequate for servicing ten people, let alone over 60 residents.

Mr Carter told "I take a lot of pride in making a good environment for tenants in affordable housing instead of hostels at €40 a night."

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