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Source: Vol. Matt McLarnon IRSP Cumann, Belfast

Last week, Vol. Matt McLarnon Cumann Activists were contacted by a concerned north Belfast resident, who made us aware of a letter he had received from Stanley Best Estate Agents on behalf of the Landlord of the apartment he was living in. The letter stated he, along with the other residents at the apartment block were to essentially be evicted following the Landlord selling the property.

What the tenent realised however, was that their rights as tenants had not been adhered to in relation to having to leave his home. The residents were only given 17 DAYS to leave, rather than the legal 28 DAYS. The letter also came ‘out of the blue’ after residents, sensing the landlord was intending to sell the property, had been phoning the Estate Agents months beforehand and were told they had nothing to worry about and that their homes were safe.

The resident who contacted our Cumann believes the Estate Agents has allowed the Landlord in manipulating the situation and pro actively facilitated the landlord in sending out an illegal letter. This resident was in the middle of a 12 month contract and has been treated terribly, along with the other residents affected, very likely due to the Landlord agreeing to a ‘quick buck’ sale.

This blatant violation of tenants rights is worrying, it is worrying because it places vulnerable tenants under pressure to try and find somewhere else to live within a very small timescale. The resident who contacted our Cumann was fortunate in that he was re-housed quickly, others will not be so fortunate however. We could be talking about a young single Mother with 1 or 2 kids and already struggling to pay bills or pay the rent each month.

The resident also contacted the North Belfast News and made them aware of the issue. They sent a reporter out and took the full story and strangely it did not pass print. The NBN claims to be a newspaper of the community, the question must be asked – why, after being presented with evidence of skull duggery and the breaking of tenents rights did they not feel it was necessary to make the public of north Belfast aware of it? Maybe because the Estate Agents in question (Stanley Best) advertises in said paper on a regular basis? It would seem that the NBN would opt to continue receiving money for advertisements in its paper rather than rock the boat and report on the careless activities of Stanley Best Estate Agents and the Landlord in question.

Our Cumann are highlighting this, not because of any certain person affected, but because it is unfortunately rife all over Ireland presently. Tenants rights should be enshrined in ANY housing contract from the moment it is signed. Our Cumann will be keeping a close eye on events such as these and we will not hesitate to oppose them until tenants rights are respected by both Estate Agents and Landlords, wherever they may be.

“If all we do is exchange English landlords for Irish landlords, then we have failed.”  (James Connolly)





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