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Celebrity landlord protests after losing HMO licences for two properties

ger treacy landlord

A landlord has told councillors he will have to give up two properties after he failed to renew HMO licences before the expiry dates.

Gerard (also known as Ger) Treacy (main picture, inset), who works as a sports commentator for RTE and has a top post in the Northern Ireland civil service, also invoked the Human Rights Act in a bid to convince Belfast City Council’s licensing committee not to turn down applications for six HMO licences in two buildings on Ireton Street.

However, he was refused new licences due to the high levels of overprovision of HMOs in the area. LandlordZONE's research shows that on Ireton Street, where at least one of Treacy's properties are located, there are over 20 HMOs.

The broadcaster, who has worked for the BBC in the past, has owned the properties for almost 30 years and converted them to HMOs between 2007 and 2010 but didn’t renew licences in time over the last few years, reports Belfast Live, despite having been sent reminder letters.

He explained that rent on the properties had not increased enough to meet the significant mortgage increases.

Treacy told them if the HMO licences were refused, the 25 beds would fall to 12 beds.

“This means I will lose on average £300 per room, on the 13 rooms I am no longer permitted to rent. That over a month is £3,900, and over a year works out at £46,800.”

He added: “I believe it is appropriate to remind the committee that the Human Rights Act Protocol One, in relation to the protection of property, states the following - ‘that every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions’”.

The city solicitor Nora Largey explained that it was the point of a licensing regime to interfere with rights.

“They are there because of the public issues and general interest in regulating HMOs, which does consider overprovision,” she said. “If you are late, you have to make a new application, the legislation is clear on that.”

Picture credits: LinkedIn, Google Streetview


Hmo licencing
Northern ireland