'Stuck in Limbo': Fresh eviction fears facing Limerick apartment residents

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A receiver has been appointed to Sova Properties which owns a number of units at the high-end Strand Apartments on O’Callaghan Strand

A receiver has been appointed to Sova Properties which owns a number of units at the high-end Strand Apartments on O’Callaghan Strand

LIMERICK residents are facing fresh eviction fears this week after the owners of their apartment complex collapsed into receivership.

A receiver has been appointed to Sova Properties which owns a number of units at the high-end Strand Apartments at O’Callaghan Strand.

It has led to fears that these residents could face their second threat of eviction in under a year.

Back in January, a number of residents in the 120-unit complex were served with eviction orders as the then new owners Sova Properties sought to capitalise on rising market values of residential apartments by selling them.

The threat was lifted following an intervention by then Housing Minister Simon Coveney.

But local councillor Cian Prendiville said this week residents are effectively “back to square one”, with approximately 30 receiving letters confirming Sova Properties is now in receivership.

“It’s yet more uncertainty for the residents. They’re scared yet again they could face a receiver trying to get back the money, kick the tenants out and sell off the property to get more money. They are caught in the middle of someone else’s problem. But they are at the coalface. It’s someone else’s problem, but they are the ones who face losing their homes,” he said.

In a letter to residents, the receiver appointed to Sova Properties, Declan Taite of Dublin firm Duff and Phelps (Ireland), asked them to cancel any existing rent payment method in place, with alternative details provided in due course.

In a statement to the Limerick Leader, a spokesperson for the receiver said: “We wish to reassure all the tenants and owners that our focus is to achieve the best outcome for all parties involved.”

One of the questions the Leader asked was if residents had anything to fear about being evicted.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one resident has said there is confusion as to what will happen next.

“It’s more uncertainty. But we have been living with this for the last seven months. We are stuck in Limbo. We just hope the receiver is better at communicating with us than Sova,” they said.

Cllr Prendiville called for all affected tenants to be offered a guarantee they can remain in their apartments.

“What we need to see in terms of the bigger picture is a change in legislation so people are not living in fear they could be kicked out of their homes just because the owner of a property is facing financial difficulty, or just wants to make a bit more money,” he added.

A spokesperson for Duff and Phelps confirmed it had been appointed as receiver to a number of apartments at the Strand complex.

In order to achieve the “best outcome” for all parties, it added: “We have joined the board of management to ensure the high standard of upkeep at the complex are maintained. Our aim is to ensure the optimal solution is reached in a timely manner.”