Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has called on Irish banks to better engage with public representatives on the issue of vacant properties in their ownership.
Cllr. O’Shea has expressed his frustrations in communicating with banks on the subject of vacant properties and at a perceived reluctance on their part to act on these properties, to bring them up to a livable standard.
“I have been attempting to engage with a number of Irish banks and mortgage lenders in recent months with regards to properties in my area that have been repossessed and let fall into a derelict state,” he stated.
“Not only are these properties a visual blight on our countryside, but they serve no purpose as they are. Surely it would be in the banks interests to bring these properties up to standard so they can be sold or rented to the public.
“The process of engaging with banks on this subject is incredibly frustrating. Often my requests for information or updates are ignored, while at other times bank officials simply pass the buck. Perhaps it’s a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ with derelict properties in rural areas, but it is time that Irish banks are taken to task.
“I have written to the CEO’s of AIB, Permanent TSB and Start Mortgages, asking them to act immediately on their vacant properties.
“Once such property, close to where I live, has been vacant for over nine years and has been allowed to deteriorate into a very poor condition. Following representations I made, the bank which owns the property carried out a ‘clean up’ to the exterior of the property. However, this only scratches the surface and no work was carried out in the interior of the property.
“It is high time that banks in possession of derelict properties around the country put resources into bringing them back up to a livable standard, so they are no longer a visual blight on our countryside and they can be rented or sold and put back into use,” Cllr. O’Shea said.