Anti-social problems blamed on landlords and ‘soft’ legislation, say property managers

By Maurice Garvey

DELINQUENT landlords and “soft” leasing laws are contributing to anti-social problems in a Clondalkin estate, according to the management company responsible for the apartment complex.

Residents living at Thornfield Square, Watery Lane, have complained about the lack of security at the entrance to the apartments and underground car park.

Thornfield Square Clondalkin 1

The Echo were able to access apartment blocks and underground car park on a visit this week and met residents who say they are afraid to speak out for fear of reprisals by anti-social tenants.

One resident living in Thornfield Square said: “Teenagers walk inside the apartment complex everyday to vandalize it writing on walls, kicking in walls, breaking fire safety equipment, and the main alarm box downstairs.

Thornfield Square Clondalkin 3

“They’re shouting, banging, smoking weed, pissing, drinking, and having sex on the stairs. It amazes me that they can afford to have the place painted now and again, but cannot pay to have a cheap lock fixed.”

Another resident said she was afraid for her children and blasted a lack of action by gardaí.

“You can’t say anything to them – everyone is scared – they just suck money from the social welfare,” she said.

“If I could move tomorrow I would. The place has become a dangerous open playground with a lot of dumping in the basement. They just drink, smoke and cause trouble all day.”

Thornfield Square Clondalkin 2

The estate contains mostly private rented apartments and townhouses, and made national news in 2013 when vandals set fire to a communal stairway at Block B – leading to a number of people been treated for smoke inhalation.

O’Connor Property Management say “delinquent landlords”, neglecting to pay their management fees, have contributed in a major way to a lack of available finances to carry out works and upgrades, including new locks.
Management fees are thought to be in the region of €1,400 a year.

Neill Brennan, Operations Manager with OPM said they are facing “huge difficulties” in the complex, but they expect to be in a position to resolve issues with a “significant improvement” of works post haste.

Mr Brennan said: “Of the 44 developments we manage in Dublin, this one gives us the most problems. There are two main problems. A significant number of landlords have been delinquent in paying their fees, and consistently, landlords are putting in families who cause mayhem.”

Thornfield Square Clondalkin 4

OCPM have allocated €60k to carry out repairs and appointed a new caretaker who began work this week.
The company also spent €4,500 on new locks for Block B, and keys will be cut and given to residents, according to Mr Brennan.

Mr Brennan continued: “Of the 138 apartments, 134 present no difficulty. The problems are coming from local people and also the shortgage of rental properties on the market.

“Unlike the UK, leases here allow the landlord to do what they like, and pay or not pay management fees. If landlords are not pro-active to control or remove a tenant, there is nothing we can do.”

 

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