Wrong information on defects may have stopped tenant-in-situ purchase

Family appealing Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council decision to Ombudsman

Bashir Barat and wife Asefa Akbari and their childen Ranna (3) and Hanna (6): Mr Barat is submitting a case to the Ombudsman against Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council over the tenant-in-situ service. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

A decision by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council not to proceed with the purchase of an apartment for a family facing eviction may have been influenced by inaccurate information suggesting there were defects in the development, it has emerged.

The family, who had appealed to the council to buy the apartment, are lodging a complaint with the Ombudsman alleging unfair treatment under the tenant-in-situ scheme.

Bashir Barat was given notice to quit the apartment at Beacon One in Sandyford last January but, despite immediately beginning a search for another apartment, the family have been unsuccessful in securing new accommodation.

Earlier this year, Mr Barat’s landlord offered to sell the apartment to the council under the tenant-in-situ scheme. The scheme allows local authorities to buy homes from landlords who have given notice to tenants in receipt of State supports such as the housing assistance payment (HAP) or are in the rental accommodation scheme (RAS).


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While the council did consider the purchase, several weeks into the process it ended negotiations. According to Mr Barat and his landlord’s representative, John Cody, the council cited the expense of the annual €3,600 management fee.

Subsequently, correspondence sent by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to Dublin City Council in relation to Mr Barat’s case shows an official cited “ongoing issues in terms of defects” in relation to 18 apartments the official said the council owned in the development as “the main” factor it was not going ahead with the purchase.

However, the council separately told Mr Barat it did not own any apartments in Beacon One and the managing agent of Beacon One has confirmed there are no defects affecting the block.

Mr Barat has for several years been on the city council’s housing waiting list, but moved to Sandyford in 2021 with his wife, Asefa Akbari, and their children, Hanna who is now six and Ranna (3).

After Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown declined to purchase the apartment, it advised Mr Barat that he should contact the city council’s emergency homeless accommodation section. Mr Barat said he was subsequently offered accommodation by the city council but it was not suitable due to a number of health conditions from which one of the children suffers.

Mr Barat appealed to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown to reconsider the decision, but it rejected the appeal. He sought copies of the file in relation to his case which included emails between both local authorities. An email from a Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown official, before the initial refusal to purchase, states that while a decision had yet to be made, early indications were that the council would not be acquiring the property.

“There are several factors, including the price and the management fees. However, the main one is that we own 18 apartments in the development and have had ongoing issues with them in terms of defects, which has cost DLR a substantial amount of money,” the official said.

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Mr Barat subsequently made a complaint to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown in relation to the decision. In response, the council said it was aware he had been made an offer of accommodation by the city council “thereby negating the need for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown to purchase the property”.

The letter also states “Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council Council do not own any properties in Beacon One.”

In response to queries from The Irish Times, AK Property Services, which manages the Beacon One block, said there “are no defects at [the block] that could cost money in the future”.

Mr Barat said he was submitting his case to the Ombudsman because he did not believe he had been considered adequately or fairly by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in the provision of the tenant-in-situ service.

A spokeswoman for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said it did not comment on individual cases. However she said the council “must be conscious of its obligations regarding value for money and all factors are taken into consideration when ascertaining value for money if purchasing a property”.

The council has to date purchased three properties under the tenant-in-situ scheme. A further 45 properties were in the conveyancing process or under negotiation with landlords and a further 22 were at the inspection stage, she said.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times