Cork residents in college area fear repeat of last summer's lockdown house parties

Cork residents in college area fear repeat of last summer's lockdown house parties

Residents of Magazine Road & Surrounding Area Residents Association, Cork, observing social distancing as they highlighted concerns about Covid-19 regulations being breached in the area by young people, May 2020. Picture Denis Minihane.

Residents of Magazine Road and the surrounding areas, close to University College Cork, have said they are terrified of a repeat of last summer's raft of lockdown house parties. 

The Magazine Road and Surrounding Areas Residents Association, which took a stand last year against such gatherings, said landlords letting out houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) for the coming summer are risking a fourth wave of Covid-19.

HMO is a term that is used to define accommodation that is owned by a private landlord and rented to multiple people from more than one household. 

The Magazine Road and Surrounding Areas Residents Association has said many of these HMOs are not fit for purpose during a pandemic and will be housing up to eight or more tenants sharing one bathroom/washing facilities.

The residents association has said landlords who make their properties available for house parties during a pandemic should face fines and prosecution.

"It is totally irresponsible for landlords to rent out these houses of multiple occupancy to new tenants who have no essential reason to be here in May in the height of a pandemic,” said association chairperson Catherine Clancy.

"It appears to residents, that as society in general abides by the regulations, irresponsible landlords owning properties in the UCC area are more interested in the extra income they can generate rather than the health of people in this pandemic," she continued.

Ms Clancy said that responsible landlords have contacted the association to say they have been getting between 10 and 15 calls a day asking if their properties are available for this summer.

The association also believes the HSE needs to make a clear statement on the dangers of these HMOs that host house parties and social gatherings, transmitting this virus to others.

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