Electricity cut off at 'luxury' Belmayne residential block in fees row
RESIDENTS at an apartment block were left in the dark after their electricity was cut off in a row over unpaid fees.
Keenan Property Management, which is overseeing the maintenance of the apartment block in Belmayne, north Dublin, said it had "turned into a debt collector" as people struggled to pay their maintenance fees.
The Belmayne scheme already hit the headlines in March after it emerged that up to a quarter of the 960 houses and apartments in the development could be at serious risk of fire.
Launched in March, 2007, at a party attended by Louise and Jamie Redknapp and Alan Hughes, the Belmayne estate was promoted as the last word in Celtic Tiger living and was heavily plugged by a series of glamorous advertising billboards around the capital featuring scantily-clad models.
The estate now lies half empty and its residents are struggling to pay their maintenance fees. Repairs are being carried out to bring walls and ceilings up to fire-safety standards. NAMA confirmed that it was making loans to Stanley Holdings, the developer carrying out the repair work.
Property loans owed by Stanley Holdings' parent company, Kitara, are already in NAMA.
Kitara was part of the original development teams behind Belmayne and still owns around 80 units in the estate.
Last week one of its apartment blocks was plunged into darkness when the power was disconnected in common areas over an outstanding ESB bill understood to be in the region of €2,000.
The lack of power also resulted in an emergency vent opening up in the roof which saw heavy rains pouring down the stairwell making them slippery and dangerous.
The ESB confirmed it disconnected the supply over an unpaid bill, adding that it had entered into lengthy negotiations with the management company in a bid to avoid the disconnection.
The residents are blaming the management company for not acting in a timely fashion.
However, the management company said unless residents paid their maintenance fees it could not pay the bills.
A spokesman said up to 90pc of residents were not up to date with their service charges. The annual charge is about €1,700.
"We are literally turning into a debt collection company as we have to chase people to pay their service charges," he said.