Mother and son face loss of home as council rejects landlord’s sale offer

Landlord says council told him that the area in question was ‘socially satisfied’

Lynsey Reilly (36) and her son (11) face homelessness in six months as their landlord is selling up.

They have lived in their two-bedroom house in Clondalkin for 10 years. Her landlord, local man Joe Doyle, describes her as "a gem of a tenant".

His "first port of call" was to offer to sell the house to South Dublin County Council so she could stay there, he told The Irish Times. However, his offer to the council was turned down. "The term they used was that the area is 'socially satisfied', which I take to mean they have enough housing in the area."

Last month he issued Ms Reilly with a notice to quit (NTQ), giving her 229 days’ notice in line with the legal requirement of at least 224 days. She and her son must be out by October 3rd.

Ms Reilly, who works part-time as a cleaner in nearby Liffey Valley, has been on the council’s housing list since June 2011. She is in receipt of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), whereby the council pays the rent directly to her landlord, and she pays an affordable rent to the council, while remaining Mr Doyle’s tenant.

She asked Mr Doyle whether he would sell to the council. “He said, ‘Yes, 100 per cent.’ But the council said no, that they only wanted four-bed or one-bed properties, or houses adapted for the disabled.

“So, the landlord will do it. The council won’t. They just gave a flat no.”

Other rentals

She has looked for other rental properties but says “there is nothing out there”. She also checks the council’s lettings site weekly to see what two-bed units become available. Two have but, she says, they are in an area with a lot of anti-social behaviour.

"I have to think about my son. I can't bring him somewhere where it's like the Bronx outside. He's very trusting, very impressionable. He's so good. There is no way I would bring him up there.

“Here, the road is quiet. His friends live around the corner. He is near his school, his football club. My family are literally five minutes down the road. They are my support network.

“It just isn’t logical to make us homeless when the council could buy this house. Why put us through all of this stress? The cost of emergency accommodation, the cost to my son, to my mental health will be so high.

“I have six months I know, but they will fly. I am really worried. I am worried for my son.”

The council would not comment on an individual’s case. A spokeswoman confirmed however, that “in line” with “guidance” from the Department of Housing, the council was no longer purchasing two-bedroom properties. The new policy is designed “to avoid undue impact on the private housing market, including avoiding competition with first-time buyers” or other family purchases.

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times

READ MORE