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Grieving family of young student treated abysmally

28 March, 2008


Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MLA Mickey Brady has said that the family of a young local student who died suddenly whilst attending University in Liverpool had been treated abysmally by the Housing Letting agent and the landlord of her shared student accommodation, after it was revealed that they had received demands for rent owing since her death and threats of legal action.

Mr Brady said:

"The agent is quite clearly arguing that the young girl, because of her sudden death has breached the lease agreement and is demanding that the rent be paid in full. This is another example of ruthlessness of the worse kind, and a fixation on ensuring that the money owed will be obtained even if it has to over ride a families grief.

"I have reluctantly brought the issue into the public domain so that the 'all about money, nothing about grief' attitude is highlighted, and perhaps that the Agent and Landlord would reconsider their approach.

"The months rent just after the young Bessbrook students death was removed from her bank account and they were told that as guarantors they would have to continue paying. This family is still traumatised by the sudden death of their precious daughter and now they have to cope with the added pressure and fears of debt collectors and court cases.

"In all my years in dealing with agencies and officials, I have never come across such a totally unsympathetic attitude."

Mr Brady concluded by stating that the Letting Agent had viewed the issue as if the young girl had just abandoned her accommodation and the Agent was now exercising their right to take legal action against the family. He added:

"I have pleaded with the Agent to have a more sympathetic and humane approach to this issue. So far it has fallen on death ears. I would once again urge them and the Landlord to reconsider their approach." ENDS

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