Belfast Telegraph

Residents facing eviction stage protest at Dublin ‘vulture fund’ offices

The properties were bought by a private equity fund or so-called ‘vulture fund’ Val Issuer Dac last November.

File picture of Molesworth Street in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
File picture of Molesworth Street in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

A group of residents being evicted from their homes have held a protest outside their new landlord’s office.

Around 50 families are facing eviction from their homes in Richmond Street and Clanbrassil Street in the Rathmines area of Dublin after the properties were bought by a private equity fund or so-called “vulture fund” Val Issuer Dac last November.

The demonstration was held outside the headquarters of
the company on Molesworth Street, with residents and their supporters protesting what they call a “reno-viction”.

The protesters held up posters of the company’s director Sean O’Sullivan with the words Evicting Families across the front, accompanied by a picture of a vulture.

Val Issuer Dac say the tenants are being evicted for the company to carry out extensive renovations and needed to vacate the properties.

Current housing legislation permits for the termination of tenancy to allow for substantial refurbishments.

However, many of the tenants, which includes one woman who has lived in her home for over 16 years and a newborn baby, do not believe renovations will be carried out, and the threat of homelessness during the worst housing crisis in the history of the state, is causing huge distress.

One resident became visibly upset when he thanked the crowd of around 30 people who attended, saying: “We need to fight back. This is crazy.”

Peter Dooley from Dublin Renters’ Union said residents have often been reduced to tears in hearings over the fight to stay in their homes.

“These are people who have been paying their rent, been model tenants, vital parts of the community, who are having their notice terminated because these vulture funds can see massive profits in massive rent increases,” he said.

“This woman is paying around 450 euro a month, they can easily get 1,200 euro, they can treble the rent by forcing people out into the street.

“A lot of the properties wouldn’t be in bad condition, they’d be older apartments with a lack of maintenance, letting agents make it uncomfortable for people to live there, and force people out.

“The human cost of it is shocking, I was with a lady this morning in her hearing who broke down in tears and the adjudicator just said he deals with the facts of the matter, but that’s what they’re doing, these institutions offer tenants no security.”

An anti-eviction bill, which is backed by the majority of opposition parties, has been in the Dail since December last year, which would stop substantial refurbishments and sale of property as reasons to evict tenants, but has not moved from committee stage in nine months.

The tenants have reached out to the Dublin Renters’ Union and People Before Profit and formed a tenants action group to resist the eviction, they have already held several protests, including a sit-in demonstration in the office of Val Issuer Dac last month.

People Before Profit activist Siomha ni Aonghusa said: “32 Molesworth St looks like any other building, but its where vulture fund Val Issuer Dac conducts its business.

“These days, that business involves evicting over 50 families including a newborn baby and children with disabilities from their homes.”

Val Issuer DAC could not be reached for comment.

Bain Capital Credit, who are linked to Val Issuer DAC, have been contacted for comment.

PA

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