IRES has spent €1m remedying building defects at Sandyford apartments

The company owns 225 of the 880 apartments at the south Dublin development

The Beacon South Quarter complex in  Co Dublin. Owners at the site were warned by Dublin Fire Brigade  they could face legal action if they did not undertake fire-safety improvements in their homes. Photograph: Eric Luke

The Beacon South Quarter complex in Co Dublin. Owners at the site were warned by Dublin Fire Brigade they could face legal action if they did not undertake fire-safety improvements in their homes. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

IRES Reit has spent almost €1 million remedying building defects at a development in south Dublin where it owns more than 200 apartments.

In accounts published on Friday, IRES, the State’s largest landlord, confirmed that it had paid €965,000 in owners’ levies that were agreed in 2017 to pay for “water ingress and fire-remediation works” at the Beacon South Quarter development in Sandyford.

The company owns 225 of the 880 apartments at the development, where building-defect issues first emerged in 2016, with each resident told they would have to foot a €5,000 bill for remediation.

Owners at the site were warned by Dublin Fire Brigade that they could face legal action if they did not undertake the fire-safety improvement works in their homes. Following the warning, the owners of the apartments voted to accept the more than €10 million bill for repairs.

According to figures supplied by the owners’ management company, the corporate entity charged with custody of apartment developments, €5.8 million out of a total bill of €9.1 million for fire-safety issues has now been collected, with payment rates from apartment owners running at 90 per cent. This figure is helped by the 100 per cent payment rate from Ires Reit, with the number of non-Ires rate payers lower than the overall figure.

Water ingress

The bill for issues caused by water ingress into the apartment blocks, which came to €1 million, has largely been collected, with €915,000 paid over. The capacity of apartment owners who purchased boom-era units that later were found to be defective to pay for repairs has become a political issue in recent months.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has said he was wary of creating an open-ended liability for the State, and has advised that in the first instance, redress should be sought from the developers of the buildings.

Frustrated

However, that process is often frustrated by the fact that many of the builders went out of business post the 2008 crash. Where the original developer is still trading, apartment owners face the uncertain and costly process of pursuing them through the courts before any payout is agreed.

Sinn Féin recently published a Private Members’ Bill seeking to establish a dispute resolution mechanism, as well as a redress scheme funded by levies on developers. Meanwhile, more defects in apartment buildings are coming to light.

According to an estimate by KPM, one of the largest property managers in the State, there are likely to be fire-safety issues in between 70 and 80 per cent of the country’s stock of apartments.