Laois County Hall.
Residents of Respond! houses in Laois feel forced into signing new tenancy agreements, claimed Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley, with deposits set to double and tenants obliged to pay water charges.
At today’s (Wednesday, March 15) meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District, Cllr Dwane Stanley said that residents of Mill Court in Portlaoise and Gort na n-Óir had been asked to sign up to new tenancy agreements, with which there wesaire three issues: the deposit for houses was to double from €260 to €520; tenants must comply with paying water charges; and homes could be downsized.
She said that one elderly lady had to borrow the money for the deposit, due to the big jump up from €260. She also said she was disappointed that Respond! were acting at the vanguard of debt collection for Irish Water.
Cllr Dwane Stanley said that Respond! had originally asked residents to sign the agreement on March 2, but they agreed to postpone this to meet residents first. However, no meeting has taken place and when March 2 came some residents signed.
She said that up until yesterday (Tuesday, March 14) Respond! had not addressed the concerns raised.
Remarked Cllr Noel Tuohy: “Respond! didn’t respond.”
Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said she had heard that Respond! had to apologise to residents because the housing body “were out of order”.
Cllr John Joe Fennelly, chair of the municipal district, said that after the meeting he would inquire what the situation was.
Cllr Willie Aird suggested that a representative from Respond! attend the next meeting of the municipal district.