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Buachaill
Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10188
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Hi there I am resident in my own property in an estate in

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Hi there

I am resident in my own property in an estate in Rep if Ireland. 15 months ago our next door neighbor left their house (I understand there is an ongoing dispute with the mortgage provider). In this time the house has become increasingly dilapidated, the garden is overgrown, there is probably vermin on the site and most importantly in recent weeks strangers have started using the house as a dumping ground - only a few days someone decided to dump an old mattress in the garden. It is only a matter of time before someone decided to squat in this property.

This is becoming an increasing concern. Have I ( or the other neighbors ) any rights against the owner of this property in respect to them keeping some level of maintenance on it? If not is there any course of action you could recommend us follow to force some improvement of the situation?

Thank-you,
Colum Thorne

Buachaill :

1. At the outset, you need to realise that there is no duty in law cast upon an owner of property to maintain it or to ensure its upkeep. So you cannot sue an owner merely because they do not maintain their property. However, a County Council maintains a register of derelict properties under the Derelict Sites Act and the Council has the power to compel a person to maintain their property or else they can forcibly take possession of it and carry out necessary works. Accordingly, I would suggest that you get in touch with your local County Council and get them involved. At a minimum the Council will contact the owner and bring to their attention the state of affairs. Secondly, If there is an issue whereby the structure becomes unsafe, a person can enter upon the land and carry out remedial works and then sue the owner successfully for the costs of any repairs. Thirdly, if waste becomes an issue, once the Council have powers under the Control of Dumping Act to ameliorate the situation and to fine anyone carrying out the dumping. Here some evidence should be obtained about the people who are doing the dumping. Finally, you should use your best efforts with the Council to get them to board up the house before it becomes a squat. This would be the best way to ensure things do not get out of hand.

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