New mortgage leases suspended because house defects could not be repaired

The housing agency has suspended new mortgage leases on homes owned by Home for Life because of failures in buildings to be repaired.

Some local authorities have also suspended rent payments to tenants until repair work is completed by the company.

The halt to new leases was confirmed by the Housing Department in a statement to the Irish Independent.

Based in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Home for Life Ltd is the only private company licensed to operate in the mortgage-to-rent sector.

The program allows distressed borrowers to give up their home but live there as social housing tenants.

The property is sold by its lender to a mortgage provider, which can be either an Authorized Housing Association (AHB) or, since 2017, Home for Life.

The AHB or municipality becomes the landlord in cases where the property is sold to Home for Life and the borrower remains as a tenant in the property and pays the landlord a differential rent based on his income.

Over 960 mortgage loan applications have been approved in relation to Home for Life properties, while nearly 400 more are in the pipeline.

However, problems have arisen with the condition of the properties.

Both the AHBs and Home for Life are obliged to carry out necessary repairs.

But the department said it has become aware in recent months that there have been problems with repair work on a number of Home for Life-owned properties.

The housing agency, backed by the department, told Home for Life on October 27 that it would not issue any more leases until the issue was investigated.

“Home for Life has now informed them and the relevant local authorities that the work is complete in the vast majority of cases,” the statement said.

“Local authorities are currently conducting inspections to confirm that this work is complete. They use their own inspectors and are also exploring the possibility of outsourcing the inspection work to speed up this process.

“In a small number of cases, the municipality has suspended rent payments as per the lease and such payments will resume once work has been completed to their satisfaction.”

The issue was raised in tonight’s Dáil by People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett.

“As I understand it, this was because deficiencies were not addressed. Repairs were not carried out. So the question becomes, are hundreds of people in Home for Life living in unsafe buildings? We have to find that out very quickly,” said the TD.

The company could not be contacted for comment tonight.

Last month, the Supreme Court heard allegations that Home for Life refused to honor a contract with a real estate services company to provide repairs and other services to the homes.

O’Dwyer Property Management’s claims have been disputed by Home for Life.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/new-mortgage-to-rent-leases-suspended-over-failure-to-repair-home-defects-42200577.html New mortgage leases suspended because house defects could not be repaired

Fry Electronics Team

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