Victory in ‘little battle’ for Leeside apartment block residents

Leeside Apartments.

Protestors are claiming victory in a “little battle”, after the Residential Tenancies Board ruled that an investment firm must prove that the extent of their proposed works on a Cork apartment block necessitates the eviction of its tenants.

Last year, Lugus Capital issued eviction notices to nearly two dozen households in Leeside Apartments before its planned €3m refurbishments.

Lugus bought the block last October, and a subsequent structural survey shows that the building does not comply with fire safety regulations. While residents agree improvements are needed, they dispute the need to be evicted in order to facilitate works.

On Wednesday, the RTB gave Lugus Capital three weeks to produce documents proving the extent of its plans are necessary. The files will be reviewed by the RTB and residents.

Cork North Central Solidarity TD Mick Barry said: “This vulture fund wanted a short, sharp campaign of evictions without any publicity or fuss. The residents’ campaign has knocked them back now not once, but twice. Furthermore, their campaign has forced the landlord to act in the full glare of publicity and there is no doubt that public sympathy is very much on the residents’ side.”

His party colleague, Cllr Fiona Ryan, added that the result “is only the winning of a little battle”.

“But it shows that even powerful vulture funds don’t always get it their own way and that it pays to stand your ground and fight. I hope it gives encouragement to the residents and that they step up their campaign for justice and fair play now over the next six weeks.”

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