With reference to last week’s article on p8 entitled ‘Using empty homes to address the housing crisis’.
There is no mention of how communities will be compensated for debt to the community by these empty houses. The blame lies with the courts. We have been involved in a case for over seven years where an owner died. Three years ago the courts awarded us €5,000 for debt. And because the owner was dead we applied to have the house sold to pay the debt, now squatters have moved in due to the lethargy of the courts.
We have another two properties where one owner died and the other absconded. The bank has applied for repossession but are in no hurry because the house can be offset against tax and meanwhile communities are suffering. We have a fourth house where the owner died and it is next door to the squatters. There is evidence of an attempted break-in.
I of course realise that people are finding it hard to pay mortgages. The squatters were evicted for non-payment of mortgage. But in other instances where people have died then seven years is more than enough time to wait for inheritors to come forward.
Our communities are suffering due to the machinations of the courts who may proceed with due process but it is not justice.
A community president