Housing - Anti-social Behaviour & Debt
The client attended one of CLM Limerick’s legal advice clinics to seek advice on her housing and debt issues. The client was a private homeowner within a regeneration area of Limerick City, and there was significant and ongoing anti-social behaviour in her neighbourhood. A number of the surrounding houses had been demolished as part of the regeneration programme, and many more were derelict. This led to an escalation in the anti-social behaviour, as the derelict houses became a hub for illegal and antisocial behaviour. As an older person living on her own, our client was targeted. Her windows had been broken on a number of occasions and she had been threatened with harm. She felt unsafe in her own home and neighbourhood. She had reported her complaints to the Gardaí and to the local authority but the anti-social behaviour continued unabated. She was also suffering from deteriorating health and attending counselling because of the treatment she had endured. Following persistent incidents, the client felt she had to abandon her home. She had an outstanding mortgage and she was in negative equity. The mortgage had run into arrears, as she was no longer able to work, and did not know how to deal with the matter. The client moved in with family members and was sleeping on a couch in their home.
CLM Limerick’s Input
CLM Limerick wrote to the mortgage provider on the client’s behalf setting out the client’s position and asking them to outline what options would be available for the client in relation to her mortgage and the outstanding arrears. Following representations made on behalf of the client over a 6-month period, the mortgage provider agreed to take possession of the house and to write off the debt in its entirety. CLM Limerick also made representation to the local authority to support the client’s application for social housing support in circumstances where she was now homeless and her house had been repossessed. Her social housing application was successful and she has now been allocated a tenancy.
This client presented to the clinic in crisis, she was forced to abandon her home, she had significant debt and her health was rapidly deteriorating. As a result, of CLM Limerick’s input, the client was in a position to negotiate a debt write-off. CLM Limerick assisted her in her social housing application, which was successful, and the client is now living in an apartment in a new local authority development.