Absent landlord problems feared

County Councillors have agreed to sell a council house in Maryborough Village, Portlaoise, to a buyer with a Dublin address, but Cllr Willie Aird had misgivings.

County Councillors have agreed to sell a council house in Maryborough Village, Portlaoise, to a buyer with a Dublin address, but Cllr Willie Aird had misgivings.

“Is this a person that wants to live in this house, or rent it out? We have had problems in the past where houses were bought and they walked away. This is one of our houses we are selling, I think it is a reasonable question,” he said.

Laois County Council were seeking approval from councillors for the sale, at their monthly meeting last week.

Michael Rainey of the housing department said he understood the buyer, Michael O’Brien, 32B Stoneybatter, would be living in the house at 404 Market Mews, which he was buying for €65,000.

Cllr Rotimi Adebari said putting in a clause that purchasers must live in the house, would deter people from buying houses from the council.

“This is a public open market, the moment we put those clauses in, we will lock those houses up for a long time. This is the only one sold in this estate for a number of years. If they want to buy it as an investment, it’s their take,” he said.

Cllr Alan Hand said there had been vandalism and theft of copper tanks from empty houses in the estate.

“If someone wants to purchase one, we should accommodate them,” he said proposing the disposal of the property.

Cllr Adebari seconded.