Residents’ bill for fixing Beacon South Quarter set to climb

€10m fund makes no provision for internal works in Sandyford apartments

A resident of the Beacon South Quarter apartment complex in Sandyford, Dublin records the extent of leaks around the windows within their home

 

The cost of fixing fire safety and other structural defects at the Beacon South Quarter complex in Sandyford, Dublin, is set to far exceed the anticipated €10 million, apartment owners have learned.

Owners at the development, built in 2005 by Paddy Shovlin’s Landmark Enterprises, this week voted in favour of a management company proposal to establish sinking funds of €9.1 million for fire compliance work and €1 million for water damage.

The bills were expected to vary from €7,500 to €15,000 for each apartment.

However, owners were this week told by the BSQ management company that the leaks bill is likely to be in the region of €3.9 million.

The management company has also confirmed that the sinking funds will only cover the cost of works to the communal areas of the buildings, leaving owners facing additional bills to fix internal structural defects.

Maybe it’s our naivety, but a lot of us had assumed it was only the common areas that were affected

“Remedial works undertaken inside some of the apartments, to fix internal defects, are working out at up to €5,000 per apartment,” said Killian Ryan, chairman of the Beacon South Quarter Owners’ Group. “Ordinary owner-occupiers can’t pay these costs.”

Owner Aoife Culleton said most people thought the defects only applied to the communal areas.

“Maybe it’s our naivety, but a lot of us had assumed it was only the common areas that were affected,” she said. “Now we’re learning that we may face thousands more in costs to fix internal problems.”

Rebate scheme

The Government must put in place a tax or VAT rebate scheme to assist owners in paying for the works, she added.

The Clúid housing project at the Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford, Dublin. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times
The Clúid housing project at the Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford, Dublin. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

“The Government has to step up here. I can’t afford this, I don’t know anyone who can. It’s making me sick with worry. We should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes,” she said.

Local Fine Gael TD Josepha Madigan said that while the safety of all residents must be the biggest priority, it was essential that the cost burden was shared fairly.

“Residents are concerned these costs are going to spiral,” she said. “I have asked Simon Coveney [Minister for Housing] to see if a resolution can be achieved, but this a more difficult situation than others as there is no State agency involved in the complex.”

The Beacon South Quarter complex at Sandyford, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times
The Beacon South Quarter complex at Sandyford, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

A spokesman for Mr Coveney said he acknowledged the stressful situation facing owners but did not have “a statutory role in resolving defects in privately owned buildings”.

These are very serious issues and we have the best intentions of all the owners as our top priority

A spokesman for the management company said it had an obligation to ensure the fire issues were addressed.

“These are very serious issues and we have the best intentions of all the owners as our top priority,” he said.

The sinking fund was to address the issues in the common areas, he said, and any internal works would be a matter for individual owners.

Property investment company I-RES Reit, which owns 25 per cent of the apartments at the complex, said it had undertaken internal fire safety works at a cost of about €2,500 per apartment.