Angry Rathmoylon home buyers face another Christmas locked out of "dream" houses

Angry would be buyers of homes in Rathmoylon say they are “devastated” at facing another Christmas locked out of their dream houses.

In October, Receivers were appointed to Meathamatic Ltd, the company behind Ringfort, a development consisting of 16 three- and four-bedroom semi-detached homes sold off the plans aimed at first time buyers.

Prospective buyer signed contracts and paid up to €30,000 in deposits some as far back as 2020 but now fear the project will never be completed after solicitors acting on behalf of receivers advised that matters between all parties “had come to an end."

Spudmuckers Limited appointed Interpath Advsory as receivers to Meathamatic in October. Spudmuckers is an investment company backed by, among others, Joe Elias, a businessman who is also a director of Meathamatic. Spudmakers is the largest creditor of Meathamatic, which hoped to develop the housing project.

The development was being built by MDS Construction, a company headed by RTÉ Home Rescue star Peter Finn, he resigned as a director of Meathamatic late last year.

Earlier in the year buyers who entered into contracts with the developer were asked to pay an extra €60,000 on top of the agreed sale price of €275,000 due to the project running into financial difficulties.

A number of Buyers have pulled out of the project and had their deposits returned but some vow they will “keep fighting” to get into their homes.

Earlier this month, Fitzgerald and Company Solicitors acting on behalf of Interpath Advisory sent a letter to the buyers legal representatives advising that the €5000 booking deposit paid to DNG Estate Agents would be returned.

The letter also stated that:

“The joint receivers are engaging with the Revenue Commissioners separately in respect of monies advanced to Meathamatics Limited on foot of the Help to Buy Scheme.

“All matters between your client and Meathamatics Limited (in receivership) and the joint receivers and any lender, directly or indirectly are at and end.”

Ciara Ryan is one of the buyers caught up in the saga.

"LTD company or not - they’ve reduced everything to profit and money making," she said. " There is no integrity left in them to want to complete the houses or the estate, they could complete it and then stand back to look at what they’ve achieved, hold their head high and move on from this whole thing.

"Instead they’re trying to squeeze people and families into a corner where they feel they’ve no way out except to walk away from their dream house."

Futures have been put on hold due to this ongoing situation according to Ciara who said;

"The houses they visualised themselves in, that they planned futures in and that they worked hard for, fair and square.

"They should never be let lay a brick ever again for as long as they live. And they want to force us out of contracts in order to sell these houses on to others at a higher price? How could anyone ever buy from them knowing what they’ve done to us?"

Another buyer who signed a contract to buy a house worth €275,00 used a Help to Buy deposit of €27,500 and paid a €5000 holding deposit in cash in 2020.

"I had €15000 worth of extras sitting in that house, that cash is gone. I’m up at a figure of about €50,000 so far.” she said.

“We have had no engagement and the only way for them to get money from this site is to sell the house and we want to buy them but nobody is communicating with us, we are not being afforded any opportunity to enter into negotiation with them.

"We actually just want to be treated like humans beings in all of this. They have strung us along for three years and the market is an extraordinarily different place to when we bought these houses but we are the ones that are going to suffer the consequences.”

The buyer says that lives are hugely impacted by this ongoing battle.

"You go through the whole journey of attempting to buy a house and you feel like wow in such a tough market I have managed to do this and then this is what happens," she said.

"It is not happening just once, every year that passes it is like you are reliving all of the events that you imagined you were going to do in this new house.

"You are constantly living in limbo because you have a mortgage on the line. You can’t change your circumstances you can’t change your job, you can’t upgrade your car because that would change your financial situation.

"There are so many things this impacts in your life other than waiting to get into your new home.

The government has been urged to step in and take action but so far nothing has been done according to this buyer who said:

"We have reached out to Darragh O'Brien numerous times but have been completely ignored by him.

“We never could have foreseen what we were going to get into but this could happen to anybody."