South Dublin apartment owners face €10m bill to fix defects

Beacon South Quarter properties found to have fire safety and structural deficiencies

The Beacon South Quarter complex, where a meeting of apartment owners was held on Monday night. Photograph: Eric Luke

The Beacon South Quarter complex, where a meeting of apartment owners was held on Monday night. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

Apartment owners at Beacon South Quarter in Sandyford, south Dublin, are facing more than €10 million in costs to fix fire safety and other structural defects in their homes.

About 600 apartment owners in four blocks at the development are understood to be affected by the defects which include “a large number of fire safety deficiencies” according to a fire consultant’s report .

Owners of apartments in blocks A, B, C and D at Beacon are being asked by BSQ Management Company Ltd to pay €9.1 million into a sinking fund for fire remedial works, while residents in blocks A and D are being asked for just over €1 million in relation to water damage.

A report by Jeremy Gardner and Associates Fire Consultants found a large number of fire safety deficiencies which varied in seriousness, but did not make any of the blocks “potentially dangerous buildings” that under fire regulations would require evacuation.

Decibel levels

Fire-stopping deficiencies were detected but the report said the risk of fire spreading was “relatively low”.

All the fire doors needed remedial work and the fire alarms did not reach required decibel levels.

While residents have been asked to contribute €1.015 million in 2017 for water damage, a report by surveyors Scott Murphy found this could increase to €13.5 million between insured and uninsured costs.

Local Fine Gael TD Josepha Madigan said it is her understanding the final cost of this work could reach €20 million.

She said residents were concerned they were being asked to pick up the tab for a failure to adequately provide for water ingress or fire safety at their homes.

Beacon South Quarter was built in 2005, when two-bed apartments were asking up to €450,000, but was not completed until 2014.

The developer, Landmark Enterprises, went into receivership in 2010, and Nama agreed to fund its completion in 2012 with a loan of €10.3 million.

A spokesman for Nama said it does not have any involvement in residential property in Beacon South Quarter.

Vote

Owners will be asked to vote in favour of the charges at a management company AGM next month.

Last night, some owners were trying to galvanise other owners to coalesce in opposition to the proposed levy to pay for fixing the buildings.

“There’s no way we can afford this,” said Aoife Culleton in reference to the projected €1.1 million water damage repair costs and the €9.1 estimated fire regulation compliance cost.*

She and owner Killian Ryan declined to discuss the situation in detail, saying they wanted to alert other owners and reach a “consensus” view as to how to proceed.

They were hoping that, alerted by social media, other owners would attend a meeting in the complex concierge office on Monday night.

Approximately 50 owners turned up for the meeting.

“We can barely afford our management fees,” said Ms Culleton, saying they varied between €1,500 and €3,500 a year depending on apartment size.

*This article was amended on January 24th 2017 to correct a spelling error