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Jekaterina Deja is being evicted from her rented apartment in Swords, along with her son and an older woman.
renting in dublin

Dublin families face homelessness after no-fault eviction notices from €6bn real estate group

After ten years living in the same apartment, Jekaterina now has nowhere to go after getting an eviction notice.

JEKATERINA DEJA has lived in Ireland for the last 19 years, and for the past ten she has lived in the same apartment in Swords, Dublin, where she raised her son, who is now 17-years-old. 

Jekaterina’s son is due to get his Leaving Cert results on 25 August, like thousands of other school leavers across the country he will learn about his prospects for college. 

However unlike most others, he is more anxious about the day before, because that’s the date he and his mother are to be evicted from their home. 

The Latvian family received a notice in January of this year from the multi-billion international real estate group that owns their apartment block and several others in Applewood Swords that their part 4 tenancy was being terminated at the end of the six year cycle. 

The company that owns the apartment block complex is a subsidiary of LRC RE-1.

The LRC Group is international real estate investment and management fund that claims to hold assets worth €6bn, since 2016 it has steadily expanded its property portfolio in Dublin, becoming one of the biggest landlords in the city. 

Because Jekaterina has a part 4 tenancy that was created prior to 10 June 2022, LRC RE-1′s subsidiary Home Club limited does not have to provide a reason for ending her tenancy after six years. 

Tenancies created after that date, due to a change in the rules, are of unlimited duration, which means that landlords have to give an allowed reason if they want to end a tenancy that has lasted over six months, such as needing the property for themselves or their family, putting it up for sale, or if the rent hasn’t been paid. 

Though Jekaterina, her son, and the 65-year-old woman they share the apartment with were given the requisite 244 day notice period to vacate the property, she says she now has no choice but to overhold (stay past the eviction day), as she has not been able to find anywhere to rent or buy, and has not been offered access to emergency accommodation. 

The mum of one in her forties works full time in the financial sector and recently received approval for a mortgage, but she still hasn’t been able to find a new home for her family that she can afford. 

“It doesn’t feel fair. I have done everything right, I have worked, paid my bills, paid my taxes, but there is no safety net there for me to stop us becoming homeless.

“It has been a very tough time,” she said. 

Jekaterina has been looking for a place to rent or buy for months, but says that the market is currently “crazy”, and that what is on offer “just doesn’t match most people’s incomes”. 

“We are not the only family this has happened to. Several others with the same landlord have gotten eviction notices, and from what we can tell it is just people who are renting long term, and coming to the end of this six year cycle. 

“One of my friends in this situation has three young kids. It is very stressful for everyone to not know what is going to happen,” she said. 

CATU, the tenants’ union which organises to stop evictions, is holding a rally on 24 August to support Jekaterina in overholding at her apartment. 

“CATU got in touch with me, and gave me some information about my options, they contacted the landlord too, and received a reply which said works were planned in the apartment and that was why I had to leave, but they never told me that,” Jekaterina said. 

Major refurbishment is one of the reasons that the Residential Tenancies Board accepts for ending new tenancies of unlimited duration, but landlords are required to offer the property back to the renter once the works are completed. 

Because Jekaterina has an old part 4 tenancy, this new rule doesn’t apply, and there is no onus on Home Club to let her rent the apartment again. 

“There is definitely a gap in the legislation. It is not fair for people to be put out of their homes when the rental market is in this state, because it is too difficult to find somewhere else to go. 

“It is scary to think that there is no backup plan for us. We got in touch with the homeless service in Dublin County Council, but there is no plan for us to be able to access emergency accommodation. In the worst case, I will have to go to my parents in the UK, but I don’t want to leave here after so many years, it is where my life is,” she said. 

Helen, a CATU organiser said that the union will stand with the residents in Applewood to resist eviction. 

“CATU Fingal will be there to provide support on the day of the families eviction – continue to support them in overholding. In a deepening housing crisis, we see the harsh reality of homelessness and skyrocketing rents on families every day,” she said. 

LRC-RE1 has been contacted for comment by The Journal.