Angry residents meet over eviction notices

by Ian Begley
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Angered residents living in Tyrrelstown attended a meeting recently to discuss the highly controversial notices they received to vacate their properties.
Forty families in the Cruise Park estate received notices by property firm Twinlite on February 29, stating that their leases will not be renewed when they expire.
Dublin West Cllr Paul Donnelly (SF), who hosted the meeting, proposed a suspension of standing orders in the next meeting of the council to “deal with this urgent matter”.
He also called for the Twinlite property management group to publicly commit to a suspension of any eviction notices unless the tenants have alternative accommodation.
Speaking to The Gazette, Cllr Donnelly said: “A lot of people affected are terrified at what’s going to happen. We had about 60 people attend where a number of residents voiced their concerns.
“One man who has a child with autism said he had been fighting for a long time to get speech and language and occupational therapy for his son, but if he’s forced to leave the Dublin 15 area, the child will be at the bottom of the list for special need services.
“Another person claimed he had paid Twinlite more than €100,000 in rent, saying there’s no thought or consideration as to where he’s going to go.”
Threshold, the national housing charity, is calling on the acting-Government to immediately introduce a moratorium on mass evictions until increased protections are in place for families.
Commenting on the situation, chairperson of Threshold Aideen Hayden, said: “Given the scale of the current homelessness crisis, the recklessness of ending large numbers of tenancies in this way cannot be overstated.
“The risk that some of the families affected may become homeless is high, given the current shortage of affordable accommodation across the country.
“The development of clear watertight protections against mass evictions should be a priority for the new Government and should be included in the Programme for Government,” she said.
In a statement, Fingal County Council said it was aware of the situation.
“The council is working with the Department of Social Protection, Dublin Regional Homeless Executive and other State agencies to provide advice and support to affected families.”
Responding to the widespread criticism it has received, Twinlite stated: “As a result of regulatory changes to the rental market and improving market conditions, EPF (European Property Fund) has since decided to exit the residential rental business altogether and Twinlite, in its role as asset manager, is organising the sell down of the houses over a period of four years.
“To this end, over several weeks, we notified 40 tenants that we would not renew their leases as they expire over the next 12 months. There is strong demand from owner-occupiers for family homes, and indeed, many of the existing tenants have agreed to buy the homes they are currently renting.
“We always work with our tenants to assist them in any way we can towards finding alternative accommodation.
“We deplore the scare mongering headlines we’ve seen which achieve nothing apart from sowing fear.”
Another residents meeting on this issue will be held on Friday, March 18 in Tyrrelstown Educate Together National School at 7pm.

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