Fears as some Robin Hill residents face eviction

by Aisling Kennedy

POLITICIANS around Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown have sprung to the defence of Robin Hill residents following a notice to evict that was sent to five people living in the Ballally apartment block.
Others in the apartment complex fear they’ll face rising heat and water bills after the building was sold to US vulture fund Cerberus.
The complex, in Sandyford, was put into Nama five years ago and since then 15 of the 52 apartments in the complex have been vacant.
Last year, the block was sold to Cerberus as part of a sale called Project Gem.
Over the past number of weeks, residents living in the Robin Hill apartment complex received a notice telling them that they are to be evicted from an agent acting on behalf of receiver Grant Thornton, as the receiver prepares to sell the development.
The receiver is entitled to evict the residents as they are close to their lease agreement renewal.
Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett (PBPA) said: “Since that deal went through, there has been a move to start evicting the tenants in a block that is still half empty. Of the 21 remaining tenants that I have met, five are to be evicted in June.”
Deputy Barrett said that others who cannot be evicted straight away “have been told they must pay an extra €250 per month in heating and hot water charges that were previously included in the rent.
“They were never charged for that previously. In other words, this is a back-door rent increase of about 20%.”
Deputy Catherine Martin (GP) told The Gazette that she too has concerns about reports of residents in Robin Hill receiving extra charges “in lieu of rent increases”.
Deputy Martin added that she thinks it is “totally unreasonable” that in the midst of a housing crisis there are homes and apartments lying vacant right across Dublin, and called on the Government to do more to tackle the issue.
In response to calls by politicians not to evict the five residents at Robin Hall, a spokesperson for Cerberus said the notice to evict came from the receiver rather than the company itself.
They added: “Cerberus takes its responsibilities as an investor and lender very seriously, acting within the framework of local laws and … endeavouring to develop and maintain positive relationships with borrowers … and the communities in which they live and work.
“Typically, Cerberus’ preferred outcome is to reach agreed resolutions with borrowers which are appropriately tailored to borrower circumstances.”
The Gazette tried to contact Grant Thornton on numerous occasions but had not heard back by the time of going to press.

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