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UCC-area residents warn landlords to shape up

Residents in Cork’s university quarter have warned the landlords of student houses that they could face prosecution under litter laws if their properties are not up to scratch within weeks.

The warning came yesterday from the Cork University Area Residents Forum, just weeks before the end of the academic year.

The forum announced plans to survey student housing in and around the College Rd area.

Forum spokesman Barry Keane said all houses which fail to comply with the litter regulations will be reported to Cork City Council with a view to their owners or landlords being prosecuted under the litter laws.

UCC has already agreed to text all 1,550 landlords on its database of registered landlords reminding them of their obligations over the coming weeks, and the forum has written to CIT requesting the institute’s authorities to do the same.

The forum, set up a few years ago as part of a resident-led reaction to serious drink-fuelled antisocial behaviour in and around UCC, has been successful in tackling several issues.

In association with the college authorities, student leaders, and gardaí, a number of successful initiatives have been introduced which have led to a reduction in those problems. However, an issue still remains with the condition and upkeep of several landlord-owned and student-rented houses around UCC.

Mr Keane said a number of these outstanding issues need immediate attention.

"All landlords need to make sure that their houses are free of refuse and secure for the summer months.

"Refuse which has not been collected has been knocked over and strewn around the roads off College Rd.

"Landlords can prevent this by taking bins back into the house. This will reduce fly-tipping and prevent them being set on fire as in the past."

He said the forum has already identified two houses with burst pipes or where taps have been left on, and the lights have been left on in several homes which have now been vacated by the tenants.

He confirmed that forum members will conduct the survey of rented houses around UCC in the first week of June.