Tenants in Dundrum complex told to leave over safety breach
ABOUT 130 tenants living in an apartment complex in Dundrum in south Dublin have been told to vacate their homes within 10 days after the management company found the building is in breach of fire regulations.
The Laurels, which overlooks Dundrum Town Centre, was built as an upscale development between 2006 and 2008 at the height of the economic boom, but fell victim to the property crash and is in receivership. It was one of a number of property ventures embarked upon by Tuskar Property Holdings, a property syndicate and precursor to a company called Tuskar Asset Management which collapsed in 2009 with debts of about €50 million.
About 40 individual investors from around the country invested a minimum of €100,000 each in The Laurels project with the aim of buying apartments on completion. Bank of Scotland Ireland, which lent more than €40 million for the project, took control of the property in 2010 and appointed a receiver.
The receiver has been renting out the apartments to tenants who will now have to find alternative accommodation for three months while repair works are completed.
A spokeswoman for the receiver said the management company would work with residents to find alternative accommodation and would pay for removal costs.
Unlike the owner-occupiers of Priory Hall, who were evacuated from their north Dublin housing scheme last year due to fire safety concerns, the residents of The Laurels are all renting.
It is understood all the individual investors – some of whom invested sums of up to €600,000 – have lost their initial investments and do not own any of the apartments. Last year, a number of them initiated legal proceedings against Tuskar, Bank of Scotland Ireland, solicitors firm Séamus Maguire and Alan Hynes chartered accountants last year. Mr Hynes and his wife Noreen were the directors of Tuskar.
Other properties developed by Tuskar include Castlepark Court in Dalkey, which is also in receivership.
The Laurels is a seven-floor building comprising 82 apartments, 75 of which are occupied.
Three-bedroom apartments are rented for about €1,500 a month, two-bedroom apartments for €1,300 and one-bedroom units for about €1,200.
In a letter to tenants, Kevin Maguire of Bennett Property, which is managing the complex on behalf of receiver KPMG, said residents would not be charged rent or utility costs while the work was being carried out.