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Dublin apartment complex residents considering ‘rent strike’

Marker tenants considering legal action, withholding rent following leaks and fire

The Marker Residence apartment complex at Grand Canal Square in Dublin.

Residents in a Dublin apartment complex are considering a “rent strike” after a burst pipe caused water to leak from ceiling fixtures this morning.

The leak followed a fire in a neighbouring hotel which caused smoke damage to the Marker Apartments last weekend, while there have been a series of false alarms after individuals triggered fire alarms improperly at the development in recent weeks.

Two bedroom apartments can fetch a rent of up to €3,500 a month at the development.

Residents told The Irish Times they were considering legal action against Aramark, the company which manages the properties, or Ires Reit, which owns the building.

Describing the plan for legal action as in its “infant stages”, one resident said that other options were being discussed by people living in the apartments, including withholding rent.

“People have had enough. They want to stop paying rent until this is all sorted out,” one resident said. The resident described how smoke was coming through their floorboards during the fire in the Marker Hotel last week.

“Our apartment has three unusable rooms due to smoke damage,” the resident said.

False alarms

A second resident said they would support the withholding of rent.

Non-payment of rent can lead to a swift eviction in the Irish rental system. Landlords must post a 14 day notice advising tenants of their duty to pay the arrears, but can post a 28 day eviction notice once that period has expired.

A spokesman for Aramark confirmed that a fire alarm had been triggered at the Marker Apartments by water leaking from a pipe into a smoke detector. “This is what should have happened from a safety perspective,” the spokesman said.

“The leak appears to be from a water pipe which was damaged over the weekend. This leak only became apparent last night and we have contractors on site this morning reviewing the repair works required. These matters have been reported to the landlord who is to communicate with the tenants directly,” he added.

A spokesman for Ires Reit, which owns 80 of the 110 apartments in the block, said last weekend that “everything worked as it should have, the alarms went off and the fire company attended. Everything was checked and restored to normal.”

Residents said earlier this week they had stayed in their apartments during the fire incident over the weekend due to the volume of false alarms they had encountered in recent weeks.

Once they realised the alarm was genuine, some residents had to fight through smoke to exit the building.

Aramark said it was “taking all necessary precautions to prevent vandals maliciously triggering false alarms in the building by placing a security team on site to monitor the area, and a static security guard.”