Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Saturday, 29 March 2008

Dead girl's rent 'must be paid'

For sale signs
The couple acted a guarantors for their daughter

A County Armagh couple whose daughter died while at university in Liverpool have been told they must pay for her accommodation for the rest of the year.

The letting agent involved is claiming that because the girl's parents acted as guarantors on the lease, they are liable for the debt.

Sinn Féin's Mickey Brady said the agent's demand was "very unfair".

Mr Brady said the Bessbrook family had received demands for rent owed since her death and threats of legal action.

"The agent is quite clearly arguing that the young girl, because of her sudden death in January, has breached the lease agreement and is demanding that the rent be paid in full," he said.

"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 override a family's grief.

"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."

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